Over 5,000 runners are expected to take part in the fifth annual marathon of Sharjah’s Friends of Arthritis Patients Association, FoAP, to be held on 21st January.
The marathon is the concluding part of a series of events and activities launched by FoAP last year in support of arthritis patients. The event is organised by the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, under which the FoAP operates, in collaboration with Sharjah Police and Sharjah Sports Council.
Dubbed as "The Future in Your Hands," the marathon aims to raise awareness regarding different types of arthritis, their symptoms and methods of treatment as well as the challenges that arthritis patients face and ways of supporting them morally and financially.
This year’s marathon is divided into four age groups and will see an array of participants - from disabled people to first-time runners - taking part with enthusiasm.
The first category is for children aged 3 to 10 years, who will run a distance of 2 km. The second category targets those aged 11 to 17, who will be running 5 km. The third category is designed for adults aged 18 to 50 years, for a distance of 8 km.
The organising committee has also dedicated a special category for senior citizens who will compete in a 1 km walkathon.
Waheeda Abdul Aziz, Head of FoAP, described the marathon as an ideal opportunity for volunteer work and expected a huge turnout exceeding 5,000 participants.
"The Future in Your Hands marathon is one of our philanthropic community events, which we organise in support of arthritis patients to shed light on the disease’s different psychological, economic and social impacts," she added.
FoAP launched four marathons over the past few years in support of arthritis patients, with the first one organised in 2009 under the theme "Movement Is Life." More than 8,000 supporters of the cause participated in the event.