With an impressive turnout of 226,000 participants for the Dubai Run, the event became a hub for several reunions. From co-workers to classmates to friends, runners seized the opportunity to reconnect with their peers during this community fun run. One among them was none other than Emirati astronaut Dr Sultan Alneyadi.
AlNeyadi and his fellow astronaut Hazza AlMansouri were among the runners at the event. AlNeyadi was reunited with his fellow Expedition 69 crew members from his historic mission to the International Space Station (ISS), including American astronauts Stephen Bowen, Warren Hoburg, and Francisco Rubio. The group was also joined by Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopev, Dimitrii Petelin, and Andrei Fediaev. Sergey Prokopev, a member of Expedition 68, was the commander of the ISS when AlNeyadi and his team members landed.
Dressed in black t-shirts with the logo of Expedition 69 and their names written on them, the astronauts looked relaxed and cheerful as they waited for the start of the run. AlNeyadi posted a video of the group ahead of it.
Running among the first group of runners alongside Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the astronauts were all smiles as they posed for selfies and videos.
Prior to the run, AlNeyadi presented the DFC flag to Sheikh Hamdan- who is also the President of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre, as a symbol of appreciation for his unwavering commitment to the well-being and happiness of the Dubai community by encouraging the adoption of sports.
He had carried the flag during his historic six-month mission aboard the ISS, which marked the longest voyage undertaken by an Arab astronaut. This symbolic act reiterated the significance of daily exercise and an active lifestyle in the UAE. Sheikh Hamdan also met and greeted the rest of the astronauts.
AlNeyadi posted about the exchange on the social media platform X. He wrote: "During the mission, I talked with my Expedition 69 crewmates about my country, and now, we are all here together in the UAE. We participated at the Dubai Run and presented the flag of the Dubai Fitness Challenge, that I carried to the ISS, to @HamdanMohammed."
Earlier in the day, the astronauts gathered at the Museum of the Future (MOTF), where they sipped coffee and exchanged pleasantries with senior officials. They also posed with the flag, which they handed to Sheikh Hamdan.
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