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Emirati runner sets sights on Makkah in epic endurance challenge

Seven days into his epic 2,070-kilometre m run to Makkah and Dr Khaled Al Suwaidi has taken his first steps into Saudi Arabia.

Dr Al Suwaidi, 35, is beginning to find his stride a week after setting off from Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, as he aims to inspire others to lead a healthier life.

The Emirati academic, who specialises in international relations, is hoping to complete his challenge within 38 days.

He has faced his own battle with obesity, losing more than 50kg in three years after becoming a father and deciding to take up running and healthy eating.

“I’m trying to eat as well as I can, but this is just the beginning – I have another 1,700km to go,” said Dr Al Suwaidi during a pasta break on the road, 10km from the Saudi border.

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