Thursday, April 17, 2008



Elaine ran a half marathon to help our appeal
‘It was the ideal way to raise cash’
By Robert Wight ALTHOUGH Dundonian Elaine Forsythe has lived in Dubai for the last 13 years, she makes sure she keeps up to date with all the latest news from home by logging on to The Sunday Post website each week.It was there that teacher Elaine learned about our Sick Children’s Appeal — and when she read our readers’ touching stories and about all the good that comes from their generous donations, she knew she just had to help.Elaine (45) [left] is a keen amateur athlete and a member of the Dubai running club, the Mirdif Milers, which includes a couple of other expat Scots in its ranks.EagerThe runner had been planning to take part in the RAK International Half Marathon, held in February in the United Arab Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah and billed as “the richest half marathon in the world”.The event, in only its second year, attracts top runners from around the globe eager to compete for the US $180,000 prize money.And although Elaine realised it was unlikely she’d be competing for the title, she reckoned it was still the ideal chance to raise money for our appeal.“The Sick Children’s Appeal has special significance for me because one of the hospitals you’re helping is Ninewells in my home town of Dundee,” said Elaine. “Staff in all four hospitals do a great job and I thought it’d be nice to contribute something, so I went round colleagues, friends and family to try to raise some sponsorship for the run.”Elaine, who teaches at the Emirates International Primary School, managed to raise £110 and completed the half marathon, the 11th she’s run, in a highly respectable one hour 57 minutes — her best time.TemperaturesTo avoid the worst of the Middle East heat — even at this time of year temperatures can easily reach 30 C and higher — the race started at 7.30 am, but the mercury was still nudging 22 C.“It wasn’t easy but I enjoyed it,” said Elaine. “And the pain of running 13 miles was nothing compared to what sick children and their families endure.”Elaine lives in Dubai with husband Dave (47), a physical education teacher at the Emirates International School, and their daughter Kirsten (13).The family return to Scotland every year on holiday and, although they miss home, they’ve no intention of returning any time soon.Elaine said, “We’ve lots of family who live in the Dundee area and it’s great going back for a visit, but our home’s in Dubai. “Our daughter was only a few months old when we moved, so it’s all she knows.“Dubai’s a great place to live — there’s very little stress, the climate’s great and the people are friendly. We love our life here.”