In an extraordinary display of mental and physical strength, a Dubai-based woman ran nonstop from Dubai to Fujairah in a Coast to Coast challenge.
Aussie Dr Catherine Todd set off from Lime Café in Jumeirah at 1am on Thursday, November 15, and reached the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach resort Friday morning at 6.30am, covering the 220km distance in 29 hours and 29 minutes.
“The conditions were pretty harsh. I was still around 20 kilometres from my destination when I developed blisters on the little toe of my right foot. It was quite painful so I cut a hole in my shoe and ran the remaining distance with my toe sticking out of the shoe hole,” recalled Todd, who is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) by day and uses her spare time to fulfil her most cherished hobby — long distance running.
Her friends took turns keeping her company during the run.
“They tailed me in their cars and often jogged alongside, supplying me with a steady stream of electrolyte drinks and water.”
After reaching the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort which had organised the challenge, Todd slept for 13 hours straight. “I was suffering from sleep deprivation and needed to rest. A bemused Egyptian woman who saw me running as she drove past me later came over to the hotel to meet me,” she said.
Funds raised from the charity event will go to help children in Africa. Over 200 people took part in the challenge. Among them were Adrian Hayes, Guinness World record holder for reaching the Earth’s three poles (North Pole, South Pole and Mount Everest) in the shortest span of time, and Robert Swann, the first man to walk to both poles. But unlike Todd, everybody else used cycles to cover the distance.
The ultra-runner, who once did 120km, running circles around Mushrif Park, now has her sights set on another challenge: a long distance run in the US next year. She said: “I don’t do it for money or anything. I run for the love of it.”
By Mazhar Farooqui
Are you impressed with Catherine Todd's performance in the Coast to Coast challenge? Share your comments with us below!