Singapore's 'Blade Runner' to run marathon on Mount Everest to raise funds for charity

Para-athlete Shariff Abdullah in Lukla, Nepal, in preparation for his participation in the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon on May 29, 2016.
Para-athlete Shariff Abdullah in Lukla, Nepal, in preparation for his participation in the Tenzing Hillary Everest Marathon on May 29, 2016.PHOTO: SINGAPORE BLADE RUNNER/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Singapore para-athlete Shariff Abdullah is now in Nepal, on his way to Mount Everest to take part in the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon held on May 29.

Dubbed by some as Singapore's "Blade Runner", the 47-year-old is the first athlete with a prosthetic leg taking part in the Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon and the only Singaporean this year.

The marathon has one of the world's most gruelling trails, running through regions of the Himalayan mountain range that includes the world's highest uphill trail running section.

Through his participation, Mr Shariff aims to raise $5,000 for Club Rainbow Singapore and raise awareness of the service that the club provides for chronically ill children and their families.

"My daughter is one of the beneficiaries of Club Rainbow and they've helped her a lot. I want to give back to society, for all their help to children with disabilities," he told The Straits Times over e-mail on Monday (May 16). His daughter suffers from liver cirrhosis.

He said he wants to give more than 500 children with long-term illnesses a chance to live their lives and chase their dreams.

"We can help the children who really need the help. The children today are the future generation of our country," he said.

As a para-athelete, Mr Shariff also aims to inspire people - both with and without disabilities - to let them know that they can make a difference if they set their heart to it.

"If I can finish strong, I'll also inspire a lot of people around the world and that's what I want to do."

He hopes especially to inspire the young.

"It's not about being the first amputee or being a champion. I'm doing this to raise awareness that someone like me with a disability can do something like this. I think it will serve as motivation to young children or anyone, that they can achieve their dreams."