More miles, more smiles and a Mission Impossible

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


And so we’re off again…

Following the fantastic success of the first travel retail industry ‘Miles for Smiles’ fund-raising run in Dubai late last year, the event will be repeated on 21 November at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

For the uninitated, Miles for Smiles is divided into two events, 10k and 5k, allowing participants to run (or walk) as quickly or as slowly as they desire.

The sole requirement, in fact, is a desire to help raise funds for The Smile Train – the world’s leading cleft charity and a cause that has received tremendous support from the travel retail industry over the past three years.

Wisely, I think, this year’s fund-raising approach will differ from the individual sponsorship path of 2008. Instead, runners will be asked to pay an entrance fee of €100, and donors will be able to sponsor the whole field rather than having to choose between runners.

The sponsorship target is a more modest US$150,000 (last year reached US$260,000), due to the troubled economic environment. Already the fund-raising has begun – please visit to add your contribution.

If you would like to enter, please contact Rowena Holland at; or to sponsor the event and help offset costs please contact Mandy Shine at

Already The Estée Lauder Companies Travel Retailing Worldwide has signed up as the Platinum Sponsor. Its President, Olivier Bottrie (below), who clocked a stunning 44 minutes and 7 seconds time to win the event last year (and who raised an amazing US$50,000 in sponsorship), won’t be able to take part in 2009, but has underlined his support for the division’s official charity in the most emphatic way.


A 21 November deadline means (alas) that it’s almost time to get training again. Last year, despite crossing the finishing line looking like a man who had an imminent date with a respirator, I managed to clock just under 50 minutes (yes for the 10k not the 5k…).

This year the aim is to shave three minutes off that time and beat 47 minutes. This may therefore be my last Blog written late at night with the assistance of some nice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Or then again, it might not…

Whatever the training diet, ‘Mission 47’  (perhaps better dubbed ‘Mission Impossible’), like Miles for Smiles 2009, is now formally underway.

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