Dubai marathon Dubai fitness challenge

The Dubai marathon man is halfway through his Dubai Fitness Challenge

While the rest of the emirate is tackling 30 minutes a day of physical activity, the Dubai-based extreme athlete Marcus Smith is earning the name marathon man. He is now halfway through his pledge to run 30 marathons in 30 days as part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Last Friday marked the halfway point, although it will not – as any marathoner knows – be all downhill from there. By that day, Smith had pounded enough pavement for a whopping 633 kilometers, and is now well over 700km. It takes the Dubai Fitness Challenge ambassador about four hours a day to run each marathon, setting out at 5am from his home in Satwa.

He’s typically low-key about the challenge he has set himself, writing on Instagram after finishing Saturday’s 16th race: “Nice and straight forward today, one foot in front of the other, stop when yr done.”

Dubai marathon Dubai Fitness Challenge
Marcus Smith greets students. Photo: Jess Dubai

Varying the routes, so far the runs have had him finish across the city in the Palm Jumeirah, at Hamdan Sports Centre, Dubai Festival City, Jess Dubai school, Gems American Academy and Arabian Ranches. Smith charts his progress daily on his blog and on Instagram. Each day, other runners, young and old, as well as his mother and sister, join him for stretches. So far, nine runners have joined him for the entire race. 

Smith is a former professional rugby player who retired in 2010, who went on to launch the performance company Innerfight and, with his wife, Holly Smith, the Paleo food provider, Smith St Paleo. He competes in CrossFit, cycling, running, extreme endurance events and other challenges, as well as working as a fitness coach and motivational speaker.

  • The Dubai Fitness Challenge runs until November 24. is for every body and mind in the UAE. This magazine is all about moderation, making small changes, little additions and the odd subtraction.



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