Shalom/Salam, I am Avi, a father of 7 children. I work in various jobs to support my family and running and charity work is my passion. If you had said 3 years ago, “Avi, one day you will run the Abu Dhabi Marathon,” I would have responded, “Inshallah, this is a life dream.” Well, my dream came true when my friends Justine Zwerling and Fleur Hassan Nahum from the Gulf Israel Women’s Forum approached me with the idea to run the full marathon in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the Abraham Accords, raise money for children in need, and empower people of determination. I said in a second YES absolutely.
My team and I trained for a year. There were 20 incredibly dedicated volunteer runners including my amazing trainer Daniel Ishta and my pacer Lior Berhano.
As the race got closer, we could taste the excitement and had so much support from our Emirati Friends who are now my family.
From the moment I arrived in Abu Dhabi, I felt so overwhelmed and welcomed and completely accepted. The people and culture in the UAE are both fascinating and inspiring. They are leaders in many areas of business and intellect but most importantly, they are kind and wonderful people who set an example to the world for their inclusivity, love, and acceptance of people of determination and all people.
Coming 62nd place out of 12,000 was just the best feeling in the world and especially hugging my team at the finish line. I would like to thank my dear friends who are now family and will be involved in our next adventure in the Gulf including Eric Rubin, President and CEO of Uncommon Charitable Impact. Watch this space and keep running!