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Dubai's official vertical race returns for fitness challenge

This year, participants will be joined by more than 15 international sky running athletes, including Gretta Beckett.

As the city gears up for the Dubai Fitness Challenge that kicks off in just 10 days, Dubai Holding announced on Tuesday the return of Dubai's official vertical race: Dubai Holding SkyRun 2019.

Held in partnership with the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), International SkyRunning Federation, Vertical World Circuit, Talise Fitness and Jumeirah Group, the 16th edition of the charitable race will be held on October 25 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers (JET).

Professional athletes, sports enthusiasts and amateurs from the UAE and around the world will tackle a challenging course stretching 1,334 steps over 52 floors of Dubai's iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers Offices. This year, participants will be joined by more than 15 international sky running athletes, including Gretta Beckett, Omar Bekkali and Piotr Lobodzinski - the top winner of the past two editions of the race.

Amit Kaushal, group CEO at Dubai Holding, said: "We are thrilled to launch the city's official vertical run to mark our contribution to this year's Dubai Fitness Challenge in support of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to help transform the emirate into one of the most active cities in the world. The 2019 edition is recognised as the 5th highest iconic skyscraper and the only official vertical race in the Middle East - joining a circuit of prestigious towers in world-class cities such as New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul."

The Dubai Holding SkyRun is part of the elite Vertical World Circuit organised by the International Skyrunning Federation. The race includes three categories - Individual-Female, Individual-Male and Team - and the top three from each category will receive prizes.

Khalid Al Awar, director of the Sports Events Department, Dubai Sports Council, said: "Dubai is gaining a reputation of being a city of Challenges - we have challenges on ice, mud, in the desert and the hills. And then we have the Dubai Holding SkyRun. It's a unique challenge and the ultimate test of endurance and human spirit.

"Dubai Holding SkyRun is the only official vertical run in the Middle East and it is being organized as a part of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

On his part, Jose Silva, Chief Executive Officer of Jumeirah Group said: "Wellness has become increasingly important to our guests and as part of our strategy, we are focused on developing innovative health and fitness collaborations that enhance the Jumeirah experience. This year, we are once again proudly supporting the Dubai Holding SkyRun, which will see participants race up 52 floors of one of our most iconic hotels, Jumeirah Emirates Towers. We hope that some of our guests will join the elite athletes and residents of Dubai to take part in this challenge, support an excellent cause and take home a truly memorable experience."

This year's edition will also be joined by the famous TeamAngelWolf - a Dubai-based socially active family, with the 13-year-old 'Person of Determination', Rio. The family previously competed in a number of Dubai Holding wellness initiatives and successfully completed the Dubai Holding SkyRun 2017 despite Rio's disabilities.