Over 4,000 women came together to take part in the eighth edition of the Dubai Women’s Run 2018 that took place on Friday at the Festival Bay, Dubai Festival City Mall.
The event hosted a 10k and a 5k race, which started at 7am and 7.15am respectively, for women and girls aged 14 years and above.
The action-packed morning at Festival Bay started with a flash mob that saw a number of women emerge from the crowd and perform an energetic dance. This was followed by warm-up sessions for the runners with a DJ playing some pumping numbers.
For the second consecutive year, Indian actor and producer Sonu Sood was present on the scene, backing the Dubai Women’s Run. Known to be a staunch supporter of fitness and a women’s activist, Sood flew to Dubai for the event and was seen cheering the runners.
The event also saw many women groups run for several causes. There were contingents from St. Petersburg, Moscow, as well as a Sikh Channel Aid team from Birmingham, England.
Participating in the 10k run, Kay Aujla, who came all the way from England with her team representing Sikh Channel Aid from Birmingham, said: “We are here to raise money by way of our participation in the run and help various causes we work for such as building houses and schools in Nepal.”
Another participant from England, Sukhjit Kaur added: “It was a really great way to celebrate women power together as we ran with women of so many different nationalities and representing so many organisations. We also met many women teams who were running to raise money and awareness for different causes such as flood victims, helping the poor and needy, and that was so inspiring and encouraging. Every time we felt we were getting tired during the run, we just reminded ourselves of the cause we are doing it for and this helped us going steady.”
Another group that stood out in the run was Paramparik – the saree heritage team that had 50 sari-clad women participants.
Bindu Jayaprasad Nair, one of the co-founders of the group, said: “We ran last year to promote handlooms and this year we ran 5k in saris to promote traditional handloom saris from a village in Kerala where an entire weaving community was adversely affected by the floods that damaged their looms and products.
Beema Benazir, founder of the group, said the members practised for the run in handloom saris imported from Chendamangalam and “they were very comfortable”. Some of the sari-clad women even recorded a good position at the run.
The Dubai Women’s Run was originated in 2010 and is conducted under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. An initiative of the UAE Federation of Athletics and supported by the Dubai Sports Council, the event is currently organised by Plan b Group since 2017. First place winners of both categories received cash prizes of Dh5,000, while the first and second runners-up received cash prizes of Dh4,000 and Dh3,000, respectively.
This year, the Dubai Women’s Run is also a part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge 2018, which is motivating and paving the way for a more health-conscious society through an action-packed calendar of events and activities.