Coronavirus: Dubai couple to run full marathon on balcony

Collin and Hilda Allin will pace along their 19-metre terrace 2,220 times on Saturday morning

Collin practises on his balcony ahead of Saturday morning's marathon. He'll have to complete 2,200 full lengths of the Meydan apartment to hit 42.2km. Courtesy: Collin Allin
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A Dubai couple aim to complete a marathon on their balcony this weekend during the coronavirus curfew.

South African Collin Allin, 41, and his wife Hilda will begin the 42.2km run on the 19-metre terrace on Saturday from 6am.

They will stream the event live on social media and hope to encourage others to embrace home fitness while self-isolating.

Government officials urged residents to avoid exercise outside and anyone seen on the streets must present their Emirates ID and prove their journey is essential.

“This isn’t about fitness really, it’s about getting people to connect, as everyone is worried about the impact of coronavirus,” said Collin, who has completed ultramarathons.

“Many people have already said they would join in from home. It’s important for people who are feeling isolated, especially those who are home alone, to keep some social contact."

He will follow in the footsteps of Frenchman Elisha Nochomovitz, who ran the full 42.2 km on his 7-metre balcony in Toulouse last week.

At 19-metres, the balcony at his home in Meydan is spacious by comparison.

“Some people have said they will run around the table in their apartment or just do a kilometre or two on their balconies,” said Collin, a brand ambassador for outdoor sports firm Oakley.

“Everybody’s so down at the moment. I even hate just hearing the word ‘coronavirus’.

“This is about spreading some good vibes out there and putting a smile on people’s faces, because we definitely need that right now.”

The South Africans will stream the event live on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Collin and his wife Hilda will run a balcony marathon this Saturday. Courtesy: Allin family
Collin and his wife Hilda will run a balcony marathon this Saturday. Courtesy: Allin family

Their 10-year-old daughter Geena will be his race support team and for Hilda it will be her first marathon.

“Geena is putting together an aid station which will have water, nuts and snacks available to keep us going,” he said.

“She’s also in charge of the music. We’re going to try and share it on Zoom as well so everyone will be taking part can be on screen together, wherever they are.”