Four Dubai friends gear up for Rickshaw Run across India

DUBAI // If you were thinking about taking a relaxing journey across India, your first choice of vehicle would probably not be a motorised rickshaw. Now consider if you had to use the same rickshaw to race 3,000km along some of the country's most precarious highways and bone-jarring backroads. Yet that is precisely what four friends from Dubai plan on doing next month.

"Everyone thinks we are completely mad," said Pippa Daniels, a PR executive, who along with Helen Ahern, a lawyer also from Britain, and two American businessmen, Jason Lewis and Jeff McMahan, have formed a team called Lucknow Be 2 Ladies that will compete in a charity event dubbed the Rickshaw Run. The four will spend two weeks starting on April 11 racing one of the 150cc three-wheeled vehicles against 63 other teams from around the world from the northeastern city of Shillong to the southwestern coastal area of Goa.

"I can tell you now, we won't be driving at night," said Ms Daniels, 27. The race, which is organised by The Adventurists, a British company and website, and is being held three times this year, costs each team £850 (Dh4,350) to enter, which covers rickshaw hire, paperwork, help and advice. The teams also have to raise £1,000 each for the event's charities: SOS Children's Village, a child welfare charity; Frank's Water Project, a clean water scheme; and Carolina for Kibera, which works in Nairobi's slums.

However the teams have to navigate their route on their own; no formal one is mapped out for them. They can expect to average nine to 10 hours on the road a day, setting off at dawn. Along the way teams can perform tasks to gain extra points that could help their final position. "If you do a human pyramid, for example, then you get extra points. There is no real sport involved though. We are not expecting to win. This is a real life experience that will really change you," said Ms Daniels.

Organisers issue a stark warning to participants on the website: "Your chance of dying can be very high, some past teams have been seriously injured. "These adventures are not a glorified holiday. They are an adventure and so by their very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own. If it all goes wrong, that's it, tough." Asked if that made her nervous, Ms Daniels laughed: "I'm absolutely terrified.

"My boyfriend did it last year and some of the stories were just terrible, like 18 trucks coming at them on the wrong side of the road and you're in this tiny rickshaw. And you're in the back of beyond. Even if you plan the route some roads will close. I'm a bit worried about getting lost because I have to get back for work." Asked why they are participating, Ms Daniels said: "To be quite honest, I haven't done anything really challenging in a long time. I wanted to do something that tested me.

"I have never been to India and I think it is quite a hard place to travel around. We are so spoilt here it's easy to think this is how life is when in reality the majority of people don't have the luxury we are used to."


Argentina 0 Croatia 3
Rebic (53'), Modric (80'), Rakitic (90'+1)


Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina
Veronika Kudermetova
Caroline Garcia (France)
Magda Linette (Poland)
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania)
Anastasia Potapova
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)
Jasmine Paolini (Italy)
Emma Navarro (USA)
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) – wildcard

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).


Gulf Men’s League
Pool A – Dubai Exiles, Dubai Hurricanes, Bahrain, Dubai Sports City Eagles
Pool B – Jebel Ali Dragons, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Al Ain Amblers

Gulf Men’s Open
Pool A – Bahrain Firbolgs, Arabian Knights, Yalla Rugby, Muscat
Pool B – Amman Citadel, APB Dubai Sharks, Jebel Ali Dragons 2, Saudi Rugby
Pool C – Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2, Roberts Construction, Dubai Exiles 2
Pool D – Dubai Tigers, UAE Shaheen, Sharjah Wanderers, Amman Citadel 2

Gulf U19 Boys
Pool A – Deira International School, Dubai Hurricanes, British School Al Khubairat, Jumeirah English Speaking School B
Pool B – Dubai English Speaking College 2, Jumeirah College, Dubai College A, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 2
Pool C – Bahrain Colts, Al Yasmina School, DESC, DC B
Pool D – Al Ain Amblers, Repton Royals, Dubai Exiles, Gems World Academy Dubai
Pool E – JESS A, Abu Dhabi Sharks, Abu Dhabi Harlequins 1, EC

Gulf Women
Pool A – Kuwait Scorpions, Black Ruggers, Dubai Sports City Eagles, Dubai Hurricanes 2
Pool B – Emirates Firebirds, Sharjah Wanderers, RAK Rides, Beirut Aconites
Pool C – Dubai Hurricanes, Emirates Firebirds 2, Abu Dhabi Saracens, Transforma Panthers
Pool D – AUC Wolves, Dubai Hawks, Abu Dhabi Harlequins, Al Ain Amblers

Gulf U19 Girls
Pool A – Dubai Exiles, BSAK, DESC, Al Maha
Pool B – Arabian Knights, Dubai Hurricanes, Al Ain Amblers, Abu Dhabi Harlequins

The specs

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 194hp at 5,600rpm

Torque: 275Nm from 2,000-4,000rpm

Transmission: 6-speed auto

Price: from Dh155,000

On sale: now


Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: Square Enix Collective
Console: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC
Rating: 4/5

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens


Author: Shalash
Translator: Luke Leafgren
Pages: 352
Publisher: And Other Stories


Al Wasl 1 (Caio Canedo 90+1')

Al Ain 2 (Ismail Ahmed 3', Marcus Berg 50')

Red cards: Ismail Ahmed (Al Ain) 77'

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September


Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

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