January 10th, 2009


– All Action Morning Expected at PUMA Turn for Third Year Running –
Dubai (UAE): Spectators turning out hoping to see Haile Gebrselassie create another piece of athletics history can enjoy it in style at the famous PUMA Turn during Friday’s (January 16) Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.

Once the runners start from The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina at 6.30am, the race will take them down the Beach Road before turning at the Union House flag to return to the finish line outside the hotel.

And it’s at the towering flag of the UAE that PUMA will have a half-way reception guaranteed to raise the spirits of even the most exhausted runners.

A free PUMA breakfast will be served to all those who come down to cheer on the runners, while PUMA will also have a DJ, bean bags, umbrellas and cocktail tables as well as a team of cheerleaders to help the athletes face the race back in the
US$2 million race.

“The PUMA Turn is now in its third year and has been attracting more and more supporters despite the early start to the day,” said PUMA Marketing Manager, Anahita Kheder. “While runners like the elites can complete the distance in just over two hours, for many of the amateurs completing the course is a challenge that deserves every bit of support so we encourage everyone to set their alarm and come down to cheer them on.”

As well as providing support at the half way mark, PUMA is also supporting every female runner by setting up a peaceful getaway that can only be accessed by those wearing pink PUMA participating t-shirts.

Female athletes will be able to enjoy a women-only marquee with four areas, including a foot soak/massage area & a manicure/shoulder massage area; a ’How to’ area featuring health and beauty tips; and a running retail area.

Once the race is over, PUMA will also host the popular After Party which is open to the public from 8pm on Friday (January 16) on the lawns of the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina and which will be transformed into a Street Jazz Festival with live entertainment into the night.

“We’re grateful for PUMA’s sponsorship of the After Party – those competing in the race should bring along their race number to receive welcome drinks, while there will also be a BBQ and drinks deal for friends and family,” added Event Director Peter Connerton, while overseeing the start of the Marathon Village build process that will see bleachers for 1,500 spectators at the start/finish line outside the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the 2009 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is expected to see a record field compete in the marathon, the 10km and the 3km Fun Run, with marathon world record holder Gebrselassie eyeing a new world best that would earn him a record bonus of US$1 million.

As well as title sponsors Standard Chartered, other supporters of the event include Dubai Holding, The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina, PUMA, Arab Media Group (AMG), TNT and Fitness First with assistance provided by Dubai Sports Council, RTA, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police.

IMAGE: PUMA Cheerleaders – hoping to put extra spring into the steps of the runners in the 2009 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday

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