Friday, March 27, 2009

Retired teacher running in Marathon des Sables to help those with HIV/AIDS

MANY people will readily donate money to a charitable organisation, and some will volunteer their services for a good cause, too.

Retired teacher and veteran marathon runner Mohamed Adnan Osman, however, is doing something that few would do.

He will be putting his body to the test by participating in the Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sands) – dubbed the “world’s toughest foot race” – in the hope of inspiring his friends, family and the whole nation to donate money to the Malaysia AIDS Foundation (MAF).

The Marathon des Sables is a seven-day competition in which participants are required to run 243km across the Sahara desert.

That distance is equivalent to five and a half regular marathons, and the longest single stage is 84km.

Along the way, the runners wil be traversing dry riverbeds, desert plains and mammoth sand dunes, in scorching temperatures of between 45°C and 48°C.

The event is held every year in the southern Moroccan desert, and this year, it is being held from March 27 to April 2.

Mohamed Adnan said he would be running alongside more than 800 other participants from around the world, aged between 16 and 78. Each of them is required to carry their own food and gear.

“In order to give some significance to this endeavour I will be using the marathon as a vehicle to raise awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malaysia and raise funds for the MAF’s Medicine Assistance Scheme,” Mohamed Adnan said during a farewell party organised by the MAF at Celebrity Fitness in 1 Utama shopping centre in Petaling Jaya recently.

MAF chairman Prof Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman said she grateful to Adnan for naming MAF as his charity of choice, and hoped his deed would be an inspiration to those suffering from HIV/AIDS.

“MAF also hopes that companies and individuals will be inspired by Cikgu Adnan’s amazing endeavour to donate to MAF.

“We are hoping to raise RM50,000 through this marathon fund-raising drive for our Medicine Assistance Scheme, which assists people living with HIV/AIDS with the purchase of medications,” she added.

Donations can be banked into Maybank account number 514105-421257 under the name Malaysian Aids Foundation.

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