The sixth edition of Sharjah Ladies Run (SLR) brought together 1,300 women and girls from 44 nationalities, on Friday who successfully competed the ladies-only event that seeks to highlight the importance of fitness and healthy lifestyles to women in the UAE.
The popular Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) event coincided with International Women’s Day celebrations and witnessed 66% of Emirati athletes from all seven emirates, who participated in 10-km and 5-km runs to express solidarity with the message of this important international celebration that marks the achievements of women from different walks of life all around the world.
The run had contestants spread across six age group categories between 15 – 60+ years. The highest participation of 447 runners came in the 15–19 years age category, followed by 379 young women in the 20–29 years age group, and 198 women represented the 30–39 years category. The 40–49 and 50–59 years age categories were strongly represented too with 64 and 28 participants, respectively, and finally, three women champions carried the 60+ years baton in the race.
Themed ‘Get your Glow On, the four-hour event was held at the Sharjah University City.Along with their usual 5-km and 10-km competition categories, a 5-km fun run was introduced for the first time this year under the title, ‘Here for Fun’ to encourage more women to participate, have fun and strengthen their commitment to healthy living. The race saw another new feature, a special prize dedicated to the first three Emirati finishers in both competition categories, again to promote a greater degree of local participation among locals at one of the largest women-only fitness challenges in the country.
In the 5-km category, Chloe Tighe from Australia, won the first place clocking a finish time of 17:51 minutes, Jinna Garcia from Columbia , stood second, finishing the run in 18:45 minutes, while Myriam Lamurefrom France, ranked third as she crossed the finish line at 18:50minutes. In the Emirati category,Mariam Al Shamsi crossed the finish line first, with a record of 25:07 minutes. Shamsa Al Qassimifinished second, clocking 26:21 minutes and the third position was bagged by Amna Al Dhuhooriwho finished the race at26:59.
In the 10-km category, Fanos Tekle from Ethopia, won the first position clocking a finish time of 39:42 minutes, Meryl Cooper from Great Britain, came second, finishing the run in 39:50, while Latifa Essraokh from France ranked third as she crossed the finish line at 40:10minutes. In this category, the Emirati ladies who achieved the first three titles were, Sarah Faraidooni who finished at 49:34minutes. Taking the second place was Sara Al Ulama who completed the race in 52:23 time. Ruqaya Mohamed Al Haranki crossed the finish line at 56:12 minutes taking the third place.
The total prize money of AED 75,000, as well as medals and certificates were presented to the winners, as well as to the event’s sponsors: Sharjah Sports Council (SSC), Sharjah Environment Company (Bee’ah), Lulu Lemon, IFFCO, Agthia Group, Sirma Water, SEWA and Sharjah Police.
Talking about the huge success of the event, Khawla Al Serkal, Director General of SLC said, “The sixth edition of the Sharjah Ladies Run is very special because for the first time we saw the inclusion of a new category to motivate Emirati ladies. While the Sharjah Ladies Run is aimed at women of all nationalities, age groups and backgrounds, we decided to create this new award category to inspire female citizens in the UAE, to make exercise a part of their daily lives. This event can also prove to be a platform, for those aspiring to take up athletics professionally. In the past 6 years the event has gained huge popularity, and this is visible by the presence of the huge footfall of 1,300participants where 66% of them were local participants and women this year.
Al Serkal also said, “this year the event is being held on International Women’s day; while the world is moving forward and celebrating gender equality, we in the UAE are also standing up for the rights of current and future female generations, celebrating women everywhere, by hosting such community events, that we will continue to organise in the future as well. These events provide a scope to further women’s position in the society, as well as increase their awareness in the need to adopt a healthy lifestyle, as women are not only the backbone of a family, but they are the foundation of the entire society”.
Al Serkal emphasised that the sixth annual edition of SLR was a huge success due to the continued patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA).She highlighted that Sheikha Jawaher’s continuous efforts have led to the upliftment of Emirati women, and her unconditional support during the organisation of such events and activities, which not only empower women but are geared towards their personal wellbeing, take SLC mandate forward.
She further said, “I would like to extend my gratefulness to the event sponsors, without whose generous support this day, wouldn’t have been such a big success. I extend a special thanks and congratulations to those who donated their money and hair in support of ‘Lock of Hope’ initiative by FOCP. I personally feel this generous act, by each of you, is a big step forward.”
SLC has also donated a part of the event’s proceeds to Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP) to support women in their fight against cancer. The proceedings from this event will provide financial help to cancer patients and their families in the UAE.
A number of interactive activities took place during the run including: Neon Tunnels, Neon Swings, a Mirror Booth, Projector Photobooth, Graffiti Wall, Virtual Reality game along with numerous inflatable games such as: Rodeo Bull, Wipeout Challenge Velcro Wall, and Mountain Climbing.
After the successful run and the awarding ceremony, a pound session was also held along with other recreational shows that witnessed many spectators.
The Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) is a subsidiary of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and facilitates various educational and leisure activities for women and children. Providing state-of-the art facilities to its members, SLC is proud of its numerous high-end services. It also organises a series of programmes that include lectures, seminars, workshops, exhibitions as well as mega sporting events.
Participants from 44 Nationalities Uphold Message of Fitness at Sixth SLR Next Press Room