More than 60 runners participated in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in aid of the Angel Appeal last Friday 18th February 2011 raising an amazing AED100,000 to help maintain ‘The Flying Angel’ a vessel that goes out to ships anchored off the east coast of the United Arab Emirates offering help and support to thousands of seafarers.
Each runner agreed to raise AED 1,000 towards the Angel Appeal by running either the whole 21km or 5km as part of a four man team. Prizes were given out to the teams and individuals for the fastest time, the most fundraised and the best dressed.
On the Running Angels team was the fantastic Eman Al Madani, a young Emirati lady from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She did a fantastic job and managed to be the 3rd Emirati woman over the line.
The Best dressed team award went to Pure Fitness for their fun and fabulous Scottish kilts and wigs. The fastest runner prize went to Christian van Nielsen from Vopak Horizon completing the course in 1 hour 39 minutes 40 seconds and fastest team award went to Vopak who came in at 1 hour 53 minutes 18 seconds.
The Reverend Stephen Miller of the Mission to Seafarers, Dubai, said: “The Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon is a great way to increase awareness about the incredibly important role seafarers play in our lives here in the UAE, we are extremely grateful to all those that were involved and the huge effort they put in.”
The UAE’s east coast is the second largest bunker anchorage in the world which is used by over 12,000 ships each year. During this time, more than 215,000 seafarers are unable to communicate with family and friends back home for weeks, sometimes months, leading to isolation and loneliness. The vessel has an Internet café, a library with DVDs and books, a medical clinic, access to telecommunications and pastoral support. Since the Flying Angel was launched over 70,000 seafarers have been welcomed aboard and it is estimated over half a million lives have been touched by her work.
The Angel Appeal would also like to give a huge thanks to Vopak, Murdoch University, Pure Fitness, BlingMyTruck and Cre8 who all contributed to the success of the event. Thanks also go to Saucony who sponsored some of the kit worn by the Running Angels and American Fitness for their support throughout the preparatory training sessions. A final special mention must be made to Neha Jamani for all her help organising the Running Angels, all on a voluntary basis – well done Neha and thanks for your time and effort!