Kuwaiti Olympian Faye Al Sultan kicked off event

Runners getting ready for the marathon Runners getting ready for the marathon

KUWAIT: The 'Gulf Bank 642 Marathon' was an unprecedented success with over 4,000 participants and more than 100 nationalities represented in Kuwait's biggest walk/run event. Due to high demand, the two longer distance categories (21K and 42K) were sold out days before the event, with many marathon runners joining the race from overseas.

The event kicked off with Kuwaiti Olympic swimmer Ms Faye Al-Sultan highlighting the importance of a healthy lifestyle and being active.  She was happy to see such a large turnout and further added, the 'Gulf Bank 642 Marathon' is also raising awareness of very important cause.

This year 'Gulf Bank 642 Marathon' partnered with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees'), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, and its 'Voices for Refugees' initiative. This is an online awareness and fundraising campaign to stand with Syrian refugees to make their voices heard so that people will keep remembering that they are human.  It seeks to bring hope to the men, women, and children who have lost everything through no fault of their own. You can still raise your voice for them and support them financially by going to the UNHCR Voices website, www.voices.unhcr.org.  By adding your voice to the #Voices4Refugees campaign, you will be calling for immediate and practical steps that can improve humanitarian access and the delivery of aid to those in need inside Syria.

'Gulf Bank 642 Marathon' along with its strategic partner, Pro-Vision Sports Management express their gratitude and appreciation to all those who participated in making this event a major success. Gulf Bank and Pro-Vision Sports Management would like to thank the Kuwait government and governmental agencies whose contributions were crucial to a successful event day.  A special thanks to the Ministry of Interior, and Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Public Security Affairs, Major-General Ibrahim Al Tarrah, and Kuwait Police whose support and efforts were crucial to making race day safe and secure for all those who took part.  We would also like to thank the Ministry of Health for their ongoing support. Our appreciation is also extended to Souq Sharq who have been hosts of this growing event.  Additionally, Gulf Bank would like to thank the all the people who turned out to walk and run the event, as well as those who volunteered their time to help make this event Kuwait's biggest run/walk event.

The 'Gulf Bank 642 Marathon' remains the only road race in Kuwait to  have its longer distance race categories accredited by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF Athletics), meaning that those races appeared in the international calendar of races.

This year's marathon comprised of individuals, families, teams of walkers and runners from various backgrounds and organizations. All the participants took a route starting from Souq Sharq, to the Gulf Road, passing by Kuwait Towers, the Grand Mosque, Al Seif Palace, the National Assembly, Souk Al Mubarakiya, Gulf Bank's head office, as well as many other landmarks.

* Full Marathon (42KM): Belal Ahmad and Jeanine Huh.

* Half Marathon (21KM): Maali Taur Babiker and Renata Hoppova.

* Souq Run for regular runners (10KM): Ahmed Saber Bakry and Taiba Alnouri.

* Family Fun Run for beginners (5KM): Hussain Kamal and Charlene Scodellaro.