Coming to the end of the road

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

First things first… 10k is a long, long way. But the road, for the first time since the Miles for Smiles ‘fun run’ was announced several months ago, is at last behind and not ahead of me. 

Yesterday was just as tough as we all expected it to be and every bit as rewarding. It appears that Miles for Smiles has raised around US$200,000 – enough to fund cleft operations on at least 800 children.

That is an amazing result and a tribute not only to the fund-raising efforts of the 60 runners but also to the collective generosity of the industry.

Olivier Bottrie (second from right above), travel retail supremo at the Estée Lauder Companies, won the race in a deeply impressive time of 44 minutes and seven seconds. Perhaps more importantly, he was also the top fund-raiser, generating over US$50,000 for The Smile Train – a remarkable effort.

And The Moodie Report Publisher? Well, I promised to finish and I did. I have never run so hard for so long in my life and it was hurting badly a long, long way out. But given my fitness state when I started training a few months back, I will take my time of 49 minutes 36 seconds with great pleasure. Today I am joining a number of the runners in playing in the Dubai Duty Free Golf World Cup. Thank goodness we will be driving the course in buggies rather than walking it, as I simply could not face the prospect. (And yes, there is nothing wrong with the photo below, that bright tomato red was indeed how I looked from about 5k out…).

Miles for Smiles was a fantastic collective effort – from the organisers (Mandy Shine and Rowena Holland take a bow), to the runners, to the donors, to the event sponsors, to those who volunteered to be marshalls on the day, to people like Emirates’ duty free boss John Sime who hosted the post-event party – it was one heck of a shindig – and did a tonne of work besides. Heroes all.

The day saw some great cameos – Michael Barrett of TFWA really entered into the spirit of things by running in an inflatable Father Christmas outfit. Our picture below shows him in the ‘warm-up’, though that was something he probably didn’t need.

But we like the next one even better. This shows Michael approaching the finishing line. Look closely and you will see Peter Marshall, of Marshall Arts International, who videoed the event. Here Peter is filming Michael – and he’s catching him… run Santa run…

Tarzan and Jane – Bruce and Jill McGuire – also made a surprise appearance…

We’ll bring you more images and memories of a very special occasion soon. But first I have a golf match to play in. If my legs will carry me as far as the bus.

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  • Thanks Martin for this lively report of the fund rising race .

    I missed not being part of it this year , it was surely a heck of a shining !

    Congratulations to Olivier Bottrie for his athletic performance and all the money he was able to collect for the Train . Bravo !

    Congratulations also to Michael Barrett of TFWA :

    where did he found such an extraordinary outfit ? I never saw such a thing for sale in Travel retail outlets !