Emirati runner 420km away from reaching Makkah

Dr Khaled Al Suwaidi is on track to complete his challenge within 15 days

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Twenty-three days into a 1,850km run from Abu Dhabi to Makkah and Dr Khaled Al Suwaidi is just 420km away from his finish line.

The Emirati executive director of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research is on track to finish his challenge within the allotted 38 days — having covered 150km at the weekend alone.

But the road along the empty desert has not been easy. Dr Al Suwaidi has braved sandstorms and dehydration on his gruelling journey. He was injured leaving Quwayiyah city on his way to Rowaidah city and suffers extreme fatigue due to the long distances he covers daily. Despite the difficult conditions, he said his determination is unshakeable and his high spirits have helped him overcome all obstacles.

Dr Al Suwaidi commended the support of his father, Prof Jamal Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the ECSSR, who has paid him several visits throughout his challenge. He said these visits have the biggest impact in raising his spirits and the spirits of his team, reported state news agency Wam

The Emirati runner also commended the support he received from Sheikh Shakhbut bin Nahyan, the UAE ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and from the Saudi officials who assisted him as he passed Albatha Border Crossing Post.

Dr Al Suwaidi started the Abu Dhabi — Makkah Run from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on February 1.