Qatar resident Aziz Mouliah will attempt to create a unique record on National Sport Day today by running a distance of nearly 72km barefoot between Sealine and Katara.
The 29-year-old Moroccan, who works as a policeman in Qatar, will start at 6am and expects to complete his run in around eight hours.
Mouliah says he is attempting this rare feat to not only give out the message of a healthy lifestyle, which is the main objective of National Sport Day, but also to show his solidarity with millions of people in the world who cannot afford even minimal footwear.
“This challenge is very meaningful to me as I get to know myself, that being a human we should all be interrelated and have a compassionate heart,” he said in a Facebook post.
“I prefer to be barefoot because this signifies my concern to the other side of the world, people who don’t even have slippers, compared to the people who are more blessed,” he wrote.
He stressed that people have become more “materialistic and self-centred”, which prompted him to embark on this challenge.
Mouliah said he has run barefoot before, but not more than 15km. “I ran between Dukhan and the Corniche a few months ago, but of the nearly 90km I ran only 15km barefoot,” he said.
Barefoot running, also called "natural running" is still practiced in parts of Africa and Latin America. In some Western countries, barefoot running has grown in popularity due to perceived health benefits.
The barefoot movement has prompted some manufacturers to introduce thin-soled and flexible shoes such as traditional moccasins and huaraches for minimalist running.
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