Dubai couple to run balcony marathon to beat coronavirus blues

Collin Allin, 41, and wife Hilda aim to cover the 42.2-kilometre (26-mile) distance on their 19-metre long balcony from 6:00 am on Saturday.

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up with a message saying,

Dubai's Burj Khalifa lit up with a message saying, "Stay Home" urging residents to comply with the preventive measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, on March 24.   -  AFP

A South African couple are to run a marathon on their Dubai balcony to be streamed online as an example of how to beat the coronavirus blues under lockdown.

Collin Allin, 41, and wife Hilda aim to cover the 42.2-kilometre distance on their 19-metre long balcony from 6:00 am on Saturday, a challenge they expect to take between seven and eight hours.

“This is about giving people something else to think about,” he told AFP. “It's about getting people to connect, as everyone is worried about the impact of coronavirus.”

Their 10-year-old daughter Geena will be in charge of providing her parents with water and snacks as well as music to drive the runners.

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The United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is a member, has imposed a Thursday to Sunday night-time lockdown to allow for outdoors and public transport sanitation operations.

With more than 150 declared cases of the novel coronavirus and two deaths, it has also been promoting a “stay home” campaign, a message lit up on top of Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.

Earlier, a French runner Elisha Nochomovitz ran 26.2 miles on his 23-foot balcony. It took him six hours and 48 minutes to complete the marathon.

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