Beethoven's Fifth, but who was first?
ABU DHABI // More than 700 people took part in the first Beat Beethoven race on the Corniche last night. Organisers said last night's Family Walk was a success and they expected a second run, to be held this morning, to be bigger. The competitors took up the challenge to complete a three kilometre route along the Corniche within the 32 minutes it takes to play Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
"It was great to see so many young families here," said the event coordinator, Pam Simmons. The event was officially opened by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research who also took part. Today's event will see runners complete a longer course - six kilometres - within the 32 minutes. One of the first to cross the line last night was Delip Krishna, a 28-year-old executive from Dubai, who said: "It was excellent. I am really tired but it was not so hard. It was not that hot either, which made it a bit easier." Mr Krishna, who walks or runs 10km a few times a week, added: "This morning I ran 10km so that is making me tired now."
The competitors could hear the symphony blasting from loudspeakers set up on the main stage. Leslie Bellas, 45, and Jasmine Zaki, a 28-year-old lawyer, both from the US, had never met before the race. "We made friends along the way," said Mrs Bellas. "We talked the whole way so we didn't notice the time pass. We kept up a good pace and really enjoyed it," said Ms Zaki. She was part of the Team Patton Boggs, named after a local law firm. They managed to raise nearly Dh840 for charity and won the prize for the raising the most money.
The Sheikh Khalifa Medical Foundation won the corporate award with its 200 participants. Martin Pitout, a 45-year-old South African, and his 14-year-old daughter, Cleo, completed the challenge in less than 32 minutes. "We did a good stiff walk with a brief jog. It was nice weather with a breeze blowing in which helped," said Mr Pitout. "We did it in about 20 minutes," added Cleo proudly. "The weather and the atmosphere lends itself to these types of events. We'd love to see more events like this," said Mr Pitout.
Ms Simmons said the event went better than she expected. "We are glad we did it," she said. The NBAD Elite Fun Run starts at 8.30am today on the Corniche and will be followed by the children's walk for under 12s at 9.30am.
Published: October 1, 2010 04:00 AM