My name is Toni Metcalfe I am a mum of three children and I also have a passion for running. Not just any running but ultrarunning. An Ultra run is defined by any distance over a marathon (42.2kms) but is usually much longer and in mountainous terrain. My last race was 100 miles long and across the south of England countryside.
My passion for running began 3 years ago after having my 3rd child I had fallen into the trap of overeating and not exercising and my weight ballooned to the point I found simple things like taking my kids to the pool tiring.
I knew something had to change so I strapped on some running shoes on and got out the door. My first target was simple… to do 1 loop of my compound (1.3km) without stopping. It took me about 3 weeks of trying to achieve this goal and I just kept lengthening my distance goal and watching what I was eating and my weight started to decrease and distance started to increase. I then did something I never thought I would do.. enter a marathon… the Dubai marathon. Training then became a big part of my life and I loved it! I joined a running club.. the Abu Dhabi Striders and loved it even more. Marathon day came and I ended up running with friends. We crossed the finish line together in 3 hours 48 minutes which proved to me that “you know what? I’m not too bad at this running malarky!”
About a month later I entered my first trail race in Ras Al Khaimah. It was tough, really tough. The mountain really took it out of me, the rocky terrain tore my shoes up and I was hot and exhausted but crossed the finish line dead last but I felt elated and incredibly happy. This is when I knew mountain and ultra running was my calling.
I have trained hard and consistently and have ran many races across Europe and the Middle East coming in the top females and often on the podium. Which has to lead me to this amazing adventure…
On the 46th National Day Celebration, I will be completing an ultra marathon that touches and crosses each of the 7 emirates of the UAE.
I want to give back to the community by helping children back on their feet. This adventure will promote HELP by raising funds for children who are unable to walk through the Al Jalila foundation HEALTH by showcasing the run as part of a healthy lifestyle FUN by enjoying time together as a team and discovering the UAE on foot.
I will also be helping out Reebok MENA by product testing their new running shoe the Floatride 475km in one week will be one heck of a testing!
I will start on 18th of November 2017 in Abu Dhabi and cross Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah to end in Hatta at JA Hatta Fort Hotel on the 24th of November with a Social Run as Finish Celebration and celebration of the 46th National Day of the UAE.
On the last evening, the 24.11.2017, all the runners will celebrate the finish of the 7ER/AJF Event with a final event in Hatta at JA Hatta Fort Hotel. This final celebration of the 7ER/AJF Event will be also a get together for the celebration of the 46th UAE National Day. This will give us the opportunity to show our appreciation for the unity of the UAE and its residents – and raise further funds. ■
Check out the website for the run – www.7emiratesrun.com/en/the-run.html
You can also follow me on Instagram – www.instagram.com/emiratesultrarunner