Ultra Runner completes 140km National Day challenge in Dubai desert

David Cooper - Writer 12:44 04/12/2018
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Ultra run: Nico De Corato completes his 140km challenge

While many in the region relaxed over the long weekend, a Dubai-based ultra runner completed a whopping 140km run to celebrate the 47th UAE National Day.

It took Nico de Corato just over twenty three hours to finish the unique single stage solo run, which began at Bab Al Shams resort in al Qudra and ended at the iconic Union Flag of Jumeirah, where he was greeted by friends, family and supporters. Corato managed to finish the challenge despite suffering from severe pain in his right knee that required use of ice compresses to reduce swelling.

Speaking to Sport360 ahead of the event, the Italian said, “People say I’m crazy, and maybe I am, but it’s my way to celebrate what a great country we live in. I like associating the place with sport and not just the skyscrapers most people see. I am deliberately passing through the natural landscapes then along to the modern city.”

Corato has experience with long distance running, but has never completed a feat of this magnitude. In 2015 he completed a 100km solo run along a route from the Meydan Hotel leading to Bab Al Shams Desert Resort.

To get in peak condition this time around he’s been in constant training over the last three years and began to turn his focus to this particular run a few months ago.

Completing an event such as this requires mental training as well as physical training, including training himself not to sleep for long periods of time.

“You have to consider the balanced diet and also your sleep pattern,” he said. “I have been training myself to stay awake. Running a distance like this is more of a mental game than physical.”

Fittingly, the challenge ended next to the world’s biggest Emirati flag located inside the Etihad Museum, as the UAE celebrated National Day with a long weekend.

The event was supported by the Dubai Sports Council and logistics and traffic were facilitated by the RTA and Dubai Police.

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