x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Feet, not wheels

The Yas Island Marina Circuit got some non-Grand-Prix use last weekend, with two very welcome events.

The speeds were considerably lower than the racetrack has been used to. So was the noise level. But Yas Marina Circuit, which two weeks ago was home to the glamour of the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix, was back in business Saturday, if at a far more leisurely pace.

Over 2,000 people, young and old, turned out to take part in a 10km run at the Yas Marina Circuit. The event included members of the UAE athletics team such as Faris Al Sultan, the UAE triathlete; he finished eighth.

The event also provided an opportunity for many non-professionals to test out the famous track. "It was a fantastic experience running with so many people," said Tina Wyrill, 27, from the UK. "There was a great energy on the track especially when we were crossing over the finish line as not everyone can say they have completed a 10km on an F1 track."

A day earlier, almost 10,000 people took part in another event at the Circuit, a 5k "Walk For Life" walkathon aimed at raising awareness for diabetes and promoting a healthy lifestyle. The event, organised by Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, also provided entertainment and activities for the many families who participated.

The Grand Prix comes around just once annually, so it is encouraging to see that the Yas Marina Circuit is welcoming all year round.