THE City2Surf is hard enough when you are fit and young, but the 14-kilometre race will be a hard slog for the 56-year-old ambassador to Australia from the United Arab Emirates, Ali Nasser Al Nuaimi, who is fasting for Ramadan.
His Excellency Mr Nuaimi, an ex-military officer, is joining other Muslims observing the month of fasting, during which no food or water is consumed between dawn and dusk.
The Islamic faith encourages followers to contribute to charity and do good deeds during Ramadan.
Mr Nuaimi is one of this Sunday's top 10 individual fund-raisers, raising nearly $9000 so far for the Communities@Work's Galilee School, which helps high school dropouts attain their year 10 certificate in the ACT.
Organisers said yesterday the City2Surf race, presented by Westpac and the biggest race of its kind in the world, was on track to raise $5 million for more than 650 charities.
''Fund-raising for City2Surf doesn't close until three weeks after the event, so we're still feeling positive that we will reach this year's target of $5 million, and we're aiming to have raised $4 million by this Sunday," a spokesperson said.
Among the other religions represented at the City2Surf are Sister Leone Wittmack and the 40-strong Nuns on the Run team, who should be easy to spot in bright orange shirts with a running nun logo. They are raising money for Gorman House, a detoxification unit predominantly for homeless, drug and alcohol dependent people.
Sr Leone, the group mission leader of St Vincent's Health Australia, has done the City2Surf 13 times, once in 92 minutes. She prepares by trying to keep fit. ''I do my bit of running and go to gym, do group classes, like Body Attack and a spin-bike class.''
Does she offer up a special prayer before the race? ''Dear God, help me to get to other end and make it up Heartbreak Hill.''