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Former England footballer Trevor Sinclair will target a goal of a different kind tomorrow (January 27) as the former Manchester City winger looks to complete his first ever Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
Sinclair, who hung up his boots in 2008, is back in the sporting limelight alongside 17,000 other runners as he competes over the classic distance in a race that will take him from the start at The Pavilion, Downtown Dubai opposite the Burj Khalifa and end 42.195km later back in Emaar Boulevard.
And for the man who terrorised defences both in the English Premiership and FIFA World Cup, it will be one of the greatest challenges of a glittering sporting career.
“In a match I would normally run around 12-13km so this is a completely different challenge for me,” said Sinclair, who was capped 12 times for England in a career that saw him star for Blackpool, QPR, West Ham, Manchester City and Cardiff.
“I’m not going to kill myself but I’ll be looking to finish inside four hours. It’s not outrageously quick but it is a decent time that a lot of people would be happy with. I’ve been training with a couple of running partners – Woody from Blackpool and Farouk from Zambia – plus I’ve had three to four weeks with the Creek Striders so I think I’m in good shape.”
Like many of today’s runners, Sinclair – who now lives in Dubai and is a TV presenter for the English Premier League as well as a coach at the Carlton Palmer Football Academy – will be running for his own particular charity. “I’m running to raise money and awareness for a charity called Children of Watamu, which is an orphanage in Kenya that is close to my heart,” he added.
“Hopefully the money I raise can will be well spent and well received by the people who look after these children.”
Despite playing for some of the biggest clubs in England, Sinclair will be on his own when he tackles the most world’s richest marathon.
“When you’re out on the road running 25 or 30km, it can be pretty lonely. But I’m going to keep my eyes on a guy who usually runs the marathon in under four hours and try to stick with him all the way.”
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is staged under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council and will see runners of all ages in the marathon, the 10km and the 3km Fun Run – including Sinclair’s three boys Isaac, Sky and Kobe.
“I want to inspire my kids to a healthier lifestyle and be a good role model to them,” he said. “Going running doesn’t cost a lot of money – just a pair of trainers and enthusiasm. It’s a wonderful thing to do.”
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by The Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Holding, “Official Outfitter” adidas, Emaar, Dubai Eye 103.8 FM, Sport 360, TNT, Fitness First, Plan B and by government departments Dubai Police, RTA, Dubai Municipality DHA and the Dubai Ambulance Services.