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WASHINGTON, DC (19 May 2009) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Washington, DC sponsored the Healthy Kidney 10K race in New York City’s Central Park on Saturday, May 16, bringing together an international field of professional and amateur runners. Over 10,000 people participated in the race, which benefitted the National Kidney Foundation, including top-ranked professional runners and a delegation of athletes from the UAE.
The race was organized by the New York Road Runners in cooperation with the UAE Embassy and was held in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first President of the UAE. Sheikh Zayed was treated for kidney disease in the United States, and benefited from the expertise, knowledge and professionalism of US institutions and doctors. In this regard, the Healthy Kidney 10K race highlights two key UAE government initiatives: sports and health.
Officials from the UAE Embassy, the UAE Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the UAE Armed Forces Officers’ Club attended the event, serving as honorary race starters, and congratulating the top finishers.
“The UAE Embassy is honored to be a part of this important event, and to help raise awareness of kidney disease,” said HE Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States. “Through the continued efforts of the National Kidney Foundation, people around the world are being educated on the importance of prevention and treatment options. The Healthy Kidney 10K honors those efforts, and also serves as a tribute to American excellence in kidney transplantation.”
On the evening before the race, The UAE Embassy and the mission of the UAE to the UN hosted a reception to celebrate the Healthy Kidney 10K and the race’s other sponsors and partners.
At the reception, Omar Al Shamsi, Deputy Chief of Mission at the UAE Embassy and General Mohamed Al Kaabi of the UAE Armed Forces, who led the delegation of runners and supporters from the UAE, acknowledged the race's sponsors and supporters. In addition, Mary Wittenberg, President and CEO of New York Road Runners, and Bill Cello, Chairman-elect of the National Kidney Foundation, spoke at the event.
As part of the festivities leading up to the race, earlier in the week representatives from the UAE Armed Forces Officers’ Club, including five Emirati runners, attended an event at a New York City public school, celebrating fitness and healthy lifestyle choices. The event, which was hosted by New York Road Runners, also featured three of the top elite runners competing in the Healthy Kidney 10K.
For more details about the Healthy Kidney 10K, visit the New York Road Runners website.
For more information on the UAE-US relationship visit: www.uae-embassy.org