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Record-breaking 7,500 runners participate in ‘Gulf Bank 642 Marathon’
November 18, 2018, 4:42 pm
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‘Gulf Bank 642 Marathon’, witnessed record numbers this Saturday, with 7,500 runners representing over 66 nationalities taking part. Enthusiasm for the event reached an all-time high, with all 4 categories selling out in advance of the day. Kicking off at 7.30am, excitement was in the air, and in spite of the recent heavy rainfall, the sun was shining and Souq Sharq buzzed with anticipation.

Starting and ending at Souq Sharq, the route saw runners make their way along Gulf Road, past the Grand Mosque and Souq Al Mubarakiya, where the vendors’ excitement added to the incredible atmosphere of the day. Then, depending on the distance category (5km, 10km, 21km, or 42km) runners continued on a tour of Kuwait’s landmarks, from Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Center to the Kuwait Towers, before crossing the finish line.

Ahmad Al Amir, Assistant General Manager for External Communications, Gulf Bank, said, "This year’s edition of the ‘Gulf Bank 642 Marathon’ was an unparalleled success. The atmosphere was electric, with participants flying in especially for the race, and arriving as early as 6.00am to take part in the race. When we first met the Pro-Vision team, we saw two young Kuwaitis with an incredible vision and the determination to succeed. That vision, our partnership, and the incredible support we’ve received throughout the years has resulted in an incredible event that Kuwait can be proud of. The marathon is an initiative that Gulf Bank holds close to its heart, the perfect demonstration of our commitment to social responsibility, alongside our commitment to the country.”

Following the day’s events, male and female winners were invited to an exclusive awards ceremony, taking place in Al Shaheed Park. Attended by marathon partners, sponsors, and supporters, guests were entertained with a surprise appearance by 'Al Sheyab', who performed a comedy skit on sports. This was followed by speeches by Gulf Bank CEO Tony Daher and Pro-Vision Sports CEO Ahmed Al Huzami. The evening ended with the official awards ceremony, with both male and female winners collecting monetary prizes for their achievements.

Each year the Marathon partners with a leading group to raise awareness of an important issue. This year, Gulf Bank Marathon 642 partnered with Kuwait Red Crescent Society to bring medical aid to those who are unable to afford medical treatment. All donations made will go towards the provision of medical devices such as, pacemakers, cochlear devices, hearing aids, electric wheelchairs and stents.

 Ahmed Al Huzami, CEO of Pro-Vision Sport Management, said, "When we first approached Gulf Bank, we had a vision to create a successful sporting event that would place Kuwait firmly on the international sporting map. Year after year, we have watched the ‘Gulf Bank 642 Marathon’ exceed our expectations, becoming one of the most exciting events on Kuwait’s sporting calendar. We are truly proud to be a part of such an incredible and unique event. The marathon is Kuwait’s only accredited road race, holding accreditation from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), meaning it serves as qualifying events for major international marathons. Thank you to everyone involved in making this year’s event a success and we look forward to continuing on this journey with Gulf Bank.”

There were a number of surprises in store on the day of the race, with popular radio station 88.8FM Kuwait Pulse and their hosts broadcasting live from the race village. Gulf Bank had the village abuzz with excitement, and the crowd eager for a chance to take part in the infamous ‘Catch the Cash’ game. Exclusive to Gulf Bank, the game saw participants answer a series of question, with those correctly answering them entering the box to catch as much cash as possible within a time limit.

With over 30 booths in the village, there was a huge variety of entertainment available.

As well as a number of special appearances from leading social media influencers, Kuwait’s soccer legends made a special appearance at the marathon, attracting crowds and adding to the excitement of the day.  We would like to thank Mr. Saad Al Hooti; Mr. Fathi Kameel; Mr. Jasim Yacoub; and Mr. Salah Al Hasawi for coming out and inspiring everyone.

Gulf Bank and Pro-Vision Sports Management would like to thank the Kuwait government and governmental agencies and private companies whose contributions and support were integral to the day’s success.  A special thanks to the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information, Kuwait Municipality, Ford, Extreme Sports, Kuwait Airways, Public Authority of Sports, Souq Sharq, Kuwait Red Crescent Society, Dasman Diabetes Institute and all other partners and supports.

Corporate social responsibility forms an important component of Gulf Bank’s mission and goals. One of the key pillars of the bank’s CSR programs is health and fitness. As a country with high obesity and diabetes levels, Gulf Bank has committed to raising awareness of the issue as well as increasing the sporting culture and participation levels. The largest sporting event in Kuwait, the ‘Gulf Bank 642 Marathon’ is also an opportunity for Gulf Bank to inspire their employees. This year’s race saw 400 employees take part in the day, with over 245 total volunteers. Volunteers included employees, as well as the general public.

Gulf Bank continues to be a leader in corporate social responsibility initiatives and remains strongly committed to giving back to our beloved country and to all the people of Kuwait.

To find out more about the Gulf Bank 642 Marathon, visit www.gulfbank642marathon.com or @GulfBank642 on Instagram. Donate now to help raise much-needed funds for those suffering from chronic illness or disabilities through the official website of the Red Crescent Society https://donation.krcs.org.kw/en-US/Campaign

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