Emirati runner Khalid Alfoulathi is urging UAE residents to sign up for next weekend’s Zayed Marathon if they want to kick-start a healthy lifestyle.

Alfoulathi and his wife are among the thousands of people who have already registered for the run at Yas Marina Circuit on March 19, giving this year’s event every chance of being the best-attended on record.

The 29-year-old Abu Dhabi resident said the 5km and 10km runs are the perfect chance for people to achieve a major fitness challenge, as well as donating to a cause. All proceeds from the Dhs100 registration fee will go to support those diagnosed with health diseases, of which Sheikh Zayed was a strong supporter.

Alfoulathi said: “I used to smoke two packets of cigarettes a day. When I quit two years ago, I knew I had to replace one habit with another. That habit was running. It was tough at first, but now it’s part of who I am – it’s my identity and my lifestyle. It has changed my life.

“The Zayed Marathon is important in giving people a target to aim for and a great sense of personal satisfaction. Anyone taking part for the first time will feel the benefits of exercise and will get hooked on running just like I did.”

The Zayed Run Club is the perfect way for people of all ages and abilities to get in good shape, with dedicated running coaches moving them towards race day.

The club meets at four locations in Abu Dhabi every week in the run up to the race – Yas Island, Mushrif Park, Zayed Sports City and Al Bateen.

For more details on the Zayed Run Club and to register for the Zayed Marathon see