Run with Special Olympians this weekend in Abu Dhabi

Run Unified comes to Hudayriat Island

Run with Special Olympians this weekend in Abu Dhabi

We’re sure that many of you are getting super excited about the Special Olympics World Games arriving in Abu Dhabi.

You might be busy planning which sports you want to watch and grabbing tickets to the opening ceremony, but did you know you can also take part in a race that lets you run alongside Special Olympics athletes?

The Run Unified event is open to runners of all ages and abilities. Taking place on Saturday March 16 on Al Hudayriat Island, it will feature a half marathon route and also 11km, 6km and 2.5km fun runs. But the half marathon isn’t just totally for enjoyment. It’s also part of the World Games 2019 and the participating Special Olympics athletes will be working hard to get over that finishing line and bag one of the medals.

If you’ve never done a half marathon before, this could be the perfect place to start. The atmosphere will be electric and the addition of the Special Olympics athletes will make the race that bit more special and exciting.

Plus, with more than 7,500 athletes from 192 countries descending on the capital, it feels like the perfect time to get out there and do something sporty and adventurous.

Or, if the idea of a half marathon seems a bit ambitious (we realise that you don’t have that much time to train), you can always take part in one of the shorter races.

It doesn’t matter how quickly you complete it. Instead it really is just about taking part and supporting this great cause.

It’s also an event that the family can get involved with. The 2.5km race is open to children aged five above, the 6km to those age eight and above and the 11km to the over-12s. Meanwhile anyone aged 16 and above can take on the half marathon.

Run Unified is part of a series of community initiatives that have been designed to bring people with and without intellectual disabilities together through different sports and activities. Like the Special Olympics World Games themself, the event also symbolises how inclusive and accepting the UAE is.

The races kick off nice and early on the morning of March 16, with the half marathon starting at 6.30am, the 11km at 7am and the 6km and 2.5km at 7.30am.

This means you’ll be done in plenty of time to go for a late breakfast afterwards (if, like us, you like to plan your entire day around what and where you are going to eat).

Registration costs Dhs75 for the half marathon and Dhs55 for each of the shorter races. You can sign up and find out more about the event by visiting and

If you’ve always wanted to start running but never quite found the motivation, supporting this worthy sporting initiative could be just the impetus you need to make it happen.

A set of races in unison with the Special Olympics World Games

To test yourself and show solidarity with the Games athletes

Dhs75 (half marathon), Dhs55 (11km, 6km and 2.5km). Mar 16 6.30am onwards. Al Hudayriat Island,

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