Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 September 2020

10,000 burpees in 12 hours: How six Dubai residents are attempting to set a new world record

The 'burpee-a-thon' aims to raise money for those affected by the pandemic

From left to right, some of the Dubai residents attempting to do burpees for 12 hours straight to raise funds for charity: Jade Palmer, Emil Pittman and Anu Thomas
From left to right, some of the Dubai residents attempting to do burpees for 12 hours straight to raise funds for charity: Jade Palmer, Emil Pittman and Anu Thomas

For most people, the thought of one single burpee is enough to incite fear or panic. So the thought of doing more than 1,000 seems almost unfathomable.

But that's exactly what a group of Dubai residents will set about doing on Friday, June 19.

#DoOneGiveOne is a 12-hour "burpee-a-thon", run in conjunction with Emirates Red Crescent, that aims to raise funds for relief efforts and repatriation flights for those stuck in Dubai because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fitness enthusiast Tarek Jabi came up with the idea when he read about a group of people from Ghana who were rendered homeless in Dubai as they waited for flights back to their home country.

Jabi wanted to do something to help, so enlisted the help of Dubai personal trainers Jade Palmer and Emil Pittman of online fitness platform #Workoutwentviral to launch the charity event.

What is a 'burpee-a-thon'?

It all starts at 7am on Friday, June 19, as six Dubai residents – Jabi, Pittman, Palmer, Anu Thomas, Johanna Suttie and Yomi Egbeleye – will attempt to do approximately 9,000 to 10,000 burpees over the span of 12 hours.

It's not just about them, though, as the entire community can get involved, too, by taking part in the event on Zoom. Do as many burpees as you can, and for every burpee completed, Dh1 will be donated.

“The six of us have set it up so that we will be in the same location for technical reasons, and so we can feed off of each other’s energy,” Pittman explains.

They money donated towards the Emirates Red Crescent will then go towards vulnerable people in the UAE who have been affected by the pandemic.

“There are a lot of people struggling to get by at the moment, or to get home,” says Pittman. “Many of those are people who have come in from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on visit visas, for a better life for their families and got stuck here temporarily.”

Setting a new world record

As well as helping those in need, the group are also hoping to set a Guinness World Record in the process. Currently, there is no world record for the most burpees done by a team in 12 hours. However, there is one for the most burpees done by an individual in 24 hours: that is 10,110, achieved by Adidas Runners captain Lee Ryan in Dubai in 2015.

The Guinness World Records team have been informed of the 12-hour attempt and will keep track of the number of burpees done at the event.

So, is the team ready for the challenge? Pittman says they are, primarily because of their new online fitness venture.

"I think we’ve been over-training for this,” he says.

“Jade and I have been working out every single day, doing burpees, squats and all sorts of activities in our living rooms. We haven’t taken a single day off."

How you can help?

Those interested in helping out can do so by visiting www.workoutwentviral.com and booking a 45-minute time slot within the 12-hour period, which runs from 7am to 7pm.

You'll then be able to join the virtual event via Zoom, and do as many burpees as possible during that time slot.

You'll be encouraged to donate Dh1 for every burpee completed (or, to find a sponsor who will donate on your behalf).

The group's target is Dh50,000.

Jabi says people can give as much or as little as they like.

“The more you do, the more you give. I want everyone to know that giving starts with a dirham. A lot of people want to give back to the community, but don’t know how… and any amount can make a difference.”

Anyone who is keen to donate but not do any burpees, can also do so via YallaGive

Updated: June 18, 2020 08:10 PM

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