Free training offered to Abu Dhabi Marathon hopefuls

Event sponsor Adnoc is providing six months of coaching to anyone keen to tackle the race

Would-be runners keen to take part in the 2019 Abu Dhabi Marathon are being offered free training sessions by the event's main sponsor.

Adnoc, the UAE's state-owned oil company, launched the initiative in an effort to encourage more aspiring athletes to take up the 42.2km challenge.

Last year, around 10,000 runners from around the world gathered in the capital to take part in its inaugural marathon.

This year, organisers hope that as many as 15,000 people could sign up for the December 6 event.

The first of the training sessions being offered by Adnoc kicked off on Hudayriat Island this week.

They will initially take place every Monday, but following the Eid holiday a second session will be added on Wednesdays.

Both classes will be hosted by the marathon’s official coach, Youssef Rochdi, a member of USA Track & Field Association and a multiple winner of USATF long-distance races.

The Monday sessions, which are being offered in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, will last for an hour and start at 9.30pm throughout Ramadan. They will move to 6.15am after Eid.

The additional Wednesday training sessions will start on June 5 at Zayed Sports City and will last from 7.45pm to 9pm.

They will run for six months and have been designed to focus on the preparation required to complete a full marathon.

In September, classes catering for runners of all abilities will launch, offering athletes participating in the 2.5km, 5km and 10km races specially tailored fitness programmes.