Standard Chartered announced today the return of the legendary road race duo Henry Wanyoike and Joseph Kibunja, who will be running in the 10km event at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon 2013 taking place on Friday 25th January. Visually impaired Henry, the world record holder of the 5,000m and 10,000m events at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Paralympics, and his long-time running partner and childhood friend Joseph are taking part as Goodwill Ambassadors for ‘Seeing is Believing’ (SiB), Standard Chartered Bank’s global programme to raise USD 100 million to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020.
Henry runs in races while being connected by a tether on the wrist to Joseph, who guides him, without breaking stride, through the obstacles, turns or when to accelerate along the route.
Commenting on the return of the widely admired running duo, Jonathan Morris, CEO, Standard Chartered UAE, said: “Henry and Joseph served as a great inspiration to a multitude of participants at last year’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and we hope to build on this intimate connection to draw greater awareness about the Bank’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ initiative. Their presence adds a new dimension to the marathon, inspiring participants to run for a noble reason and purpose. Following the excellent response they received during their community engagement activities last year, I am sure that their fans and the rest of the UAE community are looking forward to meeting them again this year.”
As ‘Seeing is Believing’ ambassadors, the duo will be visiting schools across Dubai to create awareness about the programme and inspire other people with their experiences. Henry and Joseph will also conduct running clinics for students who will be taking part at the Dubai Marathon. They will also be visiting the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre to inspire children with special needs.
Henry Wanyoike said: “The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has always been a special event for us because of the enthusiasm of the local running community to be part of our advocacy. We are therefore very excited to be back in Dubai to share our stories and experiences with the growing number of supporters of the ‘Seeing is Believing’ programme and to ultimately enjoy the fellowship with other running enthusiasts from the UAE and all over the world.”
Standard Chartered is putting up a ‘Seeing is Believing’ tent at the Marathon Village to create awareness about the initiative and raise funds. The booth will be manned by Standard Chartered employees who will provide visitors with information about the programme and sell SiB merchandise. In 2012, over USD 250,000 was raised in the UAE through various initiatives organised by the ‘Seeing is Believing’ committee.
Standard Chartered has been the title sponsor for the Dubai marathon since 2005. The Bank is the title sponsor of nine marathons across four continents. The marathons characterise the five values of the Bank: Courageous, Responsive, International, Creative, Trustworthy; and further positions Standard Chartered in the market as being ‘Here for good’.
Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon has been recognised as among the top five marathons organised globally and the 2012 edition was certified by the IAAF as the Best Marathon in Asia, with nearly 19,000 runners from 90 countries participating. This year the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon expects another record number of participants taking part in the three categories of the event, the 42.195km full marathon, 10km Road Race, 3km Fun Run and Leaders Cup.