UAE at 50: Abu Dhabi expat runs 50km in honour of country

Sadique Ahamed embarked on gruelling mission to pay tribute to the Emirates' enterprising spirit

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A determined Abu Dhabi resident has stepped up his support for the UAE by running 50 kilometres in honour of the Golden Jubilee.

Sadique Ahamed embarked on his golden run in front of the Adnoc building at 2am on Thursday, taking in the Corniche, Mina Zayed and Qasr Al Watan on his scenic route, before returning to the oil company headquarters about four hours later.

The Indian citizen, from Kerala, is a shining example of the Emirates' bold motto that "nothing is impossible".

Before the pandemic struck he occasionally went on 1-2km runs, but nothing that compared to what was to come.

He was inspired to put his best foot forward when stay-at-home measures were eased in the capital in the early stages of the outbreak, taking advantage of the opportunity to exercise outdoors.

Sadique Ahamed completing his 50km run at the Adnoc building in Abu Dhabi. Vidhyaa Chandrmohan/ The National

“When corona happened we were allowed to go running outside and I became a runner,” said Mr Ahamed, who works in the health and safety department of Adnoc.

“Now I motivate people to get active. The UAE gives us many opportunities and this is my tribute.”

The 30-year-old frequently posts about the thrill of running and his new-found passion for long distance.

He has racked up 10,000 Instagram followers with motivational tips to encourage others to take up sport.

“Everything is theoretically impossible until it is done,” is a post on his Instagram and a statement he uses to encourage beginners who ask him for advice.

Two days before the 50km, he ran 30km on Commemoration Day to honour the UAE’s military who lost their lives while serving the country.

Mr Ahamed ran his first half marathon distance in November last year and followed that with the full 42.1km in January.

The Indian resident has taken up the triathlon and ultramarathons, and he aims to run overseas once Covid-19 restrictions ease.

He runs with the Kerala Riders UAE, Abu Dhabi Running Team and 5:30 Run, and clocks in 10-12km a day, and double the distance on Fridays.

“When people see my posts, they ask many questions about how I manage to run without any experience,” he said.

“Running frees the mind. My motto is that I want to encourage people to get involved in activities so they get fit.”

Updated: December 02, 2021, 6:33 AM