New York : The third Zayed International marathon to mobilise public support for the fight against kidney diseases was kicked off here Saturday.
The proceeds from the marathon, hosted by the New York Road Runners Foundation (NYRR) and sponsored by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will go to the US National Kidney Foundation, WAM news agency reported.
More than 9000 entrants from around the world, including 1000 women, 29 runners from the UAE and a number of professional male athletes, participated in the event, held in appreciation of American doctors and US excellence in kidney transplantation.
"The organizing committee decided to increase the prize purse to $20,000 for breaking the record (that Paul Koech of Kenya set in 1997) up from $10,000", said chairman of the organizing committee and member of the UAE diplomatic mission in the US Mohammed Saeed Al-Kindi.
Previous editions of the event featured world-class runners and professional athletes including Kenyan Paul Kibi Tergat who is regarded as one of the most outstanding long distance runners of the last decade and Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa, winner of the 2004 New York City Marathon.
A number UAE senior officials and members of the UAE diplomatic missions in Washington and United Nations in New York witnessed the launch of the sports event.