Emirati academic, Dr Al Suwaidi, reached the boundary of the Great Mosque of Makkah on Friday, 1 March after beginning his gruelling 1850km journey from Abu Dhabi to Makkah.
His reasons for taking on the mammoth task were to inspire others to get out of their comfort zone and to celebrate the close ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Having reached the Haram and achieved 95% of his goal, he headed back to the camp outside the city to celebrate with his team before donning the ehraam to perform Umrah before embarking on Saturday to walk the final leg.
In preparation for the challenge saw him complete about 10400km in the past year but nothing prepared him for a sandstorm on Day 13. Then 8 days before he reached Makkah, he suffered a small fracture in his left foot due to the constant pounding on the road. He kept running, saying that the his “fractured left foot is something that gave me fire in my belly because I pushed my average from 54km a day to 70km over the last eight to nine days”
Dr Al Suwaidi, the executive director of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research plans to spend the next few days in the kingdom before returning to Abu Dhabi.
His final words for his many fans and inspiration to others: “If you really truly believe that you want to succeed or you want a goal or a target, then nothing should stand in your way of achieving that.”