INTERNATIONAL. As the countdown to June’s 2012 Moodie Multi-National Marathon, in aid of Hand in Hand for Haiti, ticks on, The Moodie Report is pleased to present the fifth edition of our new feature series called Marathon Matters, in which well-known industry executives answer ten light-hearted questions about their running regime.

This week we talk to the industry’s ultimate ‘Marathon Man’, Dubai Duty Free’s Vice President – Operations Sean Staunton. Last year the seemingly-bionic Staunton achieved the remarkable feat of running four marathons, across four continents, in as many months – covering a daunting 168km in total. His Herculean efforts raised a staggering US$22,512 for Hand in Hand for Haiti.

This year, Staunton has already completed the 65km Everest Ultra, the highest Ultra in the world, which includes a number of arduous uphill sections at altitude.

How often do you run?

I run three times a week, learn Muay Thai (thai kick boxing) twice a week and do Body Pump (a weight training group fitness programme) twice a week.

Why do you run?

I find running relaxing. I believe that a healthy and active body gives a healthy mind and a positive outlook on life.

When and where do you usually run?

I usually run weekdays in the evenings in Safa park and around Dubai city. I also like trail running so on weekends I run with a group of friends in the mountains and wadis outside Dubai. Sometimes we do night-time running in the wadis with head torches. Recently I have been running home after work on Thursday evenings, which is a nice start to the weekend. It is 32km from Dubai airport to my apartment. It only takes 25 minutes to drive by highway but it takes many hours to run through the secondary roads. I find it charming to see the world pass me by as I run home.

Dubai Duty Free’s Sean Staunton hits new running heights at the Everest Ultra, earlier this month

What’s the furthest you’ve ever run?

75km in the Amazing Maasai Ultra in Kenya.

Where is the most exotic place you’ve ever run? Earlier this month I ran in the Everest Ultra which was quite exotic. It starts in Gorakshep in Nepal which is at 5,164 metres altitude.

Do you run alone or with others?

Sometimes I like to run with others but some days it’s nice to spend time running in my own company.

What’s your favourite music to listen to while running?

I usually don’t listen to music while running. I tend to get “˜lost in my own world’ when running by myself.

What’s your favourite post-run meal?

I eat dates and bananas during and after running.

What’s your target time for the Moodie Marathon?

Around 29 minutes.

If you could invite any other five iconic figures (they can be living or dead, athletic or otherwise) to join your team, who would they be?

Michael Palin (comedian and explorer), Patrick Kavanagh (Irish poet and novelist), Aung San Suu Kyi, London Mayor Boris Johnson and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary. While I don’t expect the above team to be that fast, I reckon they would be great fun with excellent fundraising results!


Qatar Duty Free Senior Consultant Alan Edwards: “I run so I can eat fish and chips!”

LS travel retail ASPAC COO Emmanuel de Place: “[I run] either to clear my mind and release the stress of the day or to “pay the personal bill” after a good dinner and some fine wine”¦

Butlers Chocolates Sales Director Karl Marnane: “I run alone – Billy no mates! I find that I can solve all the world’s problems on a long run by myself.”

DFS Chairman & CEO Ed Brennan: “Our event will be held in Hong Kong along the South China Sea with hundreds of DFS employees. My objective is not time-related, and will be focused on saying thank you to all our volunteers.”

NOTE: The second Moodie Multi-National Marathon is the follow-up to the hugely successful global event in 2011 which raised over US$300,000 for Hand in Hand for Haiti. This year’s event will be conducted between 15 and 18 June. Teams of six from travel retail companies will each run one-sixth of a marathon (7.03km), with members being able to take part anywhere in the world. Participants can run on treadmills, track or any terrain of their choice.

Each team will seek sponsorship with all funds going to Hand in Hand for Haiti, a unique charity and educational project funded and run by the travel retail industry. A dedicated website has been created where teams can register and supporters donate.

While there is still plenty of time to start training and enter a team, The Moodie Report requests that everyone who has expressed an interest or intention to run officially signs up on the site as soon as possible.

On the 3 October 2011, Hand in Hand for Haiti opened the Lycée Jean Baptiste Point du Sable – a school funded and run by the travel retail industry – in the town of Saint Marc. The state-of-the-art facility offers a unique, all-encompassing approach to education – featuring accessible best-in-class, bilingual English-French instruction from kindergarten to (eventually) 13th grade. It is currently providing education for 152 children between 3 and 5 years of age.

All donations from this year’s Moodie Multi-National Marathon will go towards funding three crucial facilities: a computer centre, a library and a music centre.