Cairo kids take over the streets as their first marathon kicks off

Ingy Deif, Sunday 8 May 2016

On the early brisk morning hours of Friday, Zamalek witnessed the first ‘Kidathon’ in Egypt

Omar Samra

The “Kidathon,” the first ever marathon in Egypt to be dedicated to children took place on 6 May, setting its footprint as an annual event, in addition to plans of future expansion to other governorates.

The event was launched by Egyptian adventurer Omar Samra who aims to motivate children to adopt a healthy lifestyle and contribute to society.

For the event to see light, Omar Samra's Muricata, the Zamalek Guardians volunteers, as well as the private sector Inertia, needed to organise logistics and determine the safest track for participating children.

Warm-up stretches took place before the race, as children were divided into three groups according to their age brackets.

Children aged from 12 to 14 years started the race by circling the Al Sawy Cultural Wheel loop, running for a total of four kilometres.

Children between the ages of eight to 11 followed, running 2 kilometres, before the last group of children between six and eight, escorted by family members, competed on a two kilometre track.

All together, 300 children participated in the run, which was free of charge except for the prerequisite of donating a toy to Marwa Fayed's Toy Run, an NGO dedicated to bringing toys to underprivileged children.

Samra hailed the spirit that prevailed and the willingness of participants to donate more to fight poverty.

The NGO will distribute the toys to children at Abu El Rish hospital.

The Sawy Cultural Wheel saw prizes handed out to 18 winners after the races concluded, and certificates and medals to all participants.

Omar Samra

At Sawy Cultural Wheel, families and those who attended were entertained with other activities among which were yoga classes, adventure games and activities, as well as arts and crafts.

The event ended with a concert performed by the Egyptian band Cairokee.

Omar Samra is an Egyptian banker-turned adventurer, who made history when he succeeded in May 2007 to become the first Egyptian and the youngest Arab (then 29-years-old) to climb Mount Everest.

Samra broke another record by becoming the first Egyptian to complete the seven summits challenge, a climb of the highest mountains in seven continents.

In December 2013, he became one of the winners of the Axe Apollo Space Academy competition in Florida, the United States, beating 112 competitors from the rest of the world on his path to becoming the first Egyptian to see the edge of space.

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