There are now dozens of runs and races across the UAE, some for charity, and all of them for fun.

This weekend’s 5k Terry Fox Run in Dubai – it takes place on February 18 – stands out, however, and not just because it’s been running since way back in 1994.

Every organisation involved in this run provides its services for free – meaning any donations made go to cancer research only.

It’s run in the memory of Canadian teen Terry Fox, who attempted to run across his home country to raise funds for a cure for cancer, with which he was diagnosed at the age of eighteen. He died aged 22, without completing his epic run but leaving behind a legacy of charity runs that’s still going on – $650 million has been raised internationally from runs across the world.

‘One thing that makes this charity event unique is that we don’t incur any expenses in its planning,’ this year’s organiser Daniel Murphy told Friday. ‘All aspects of the event are provided by supporters and organizers at no cost. This includes everything from the volunteer organizing committee, through to the venue, marketing and F&B. This in turn means that 100 per cent of funds raised goes directly towards funding cancer research projects here in the UAE.’

Funds raised at the event – plus runs in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah – stay in the UAE and go to cancer research.

‘To organize a charity event in Dubai it is important that you gain the support of one of the nine charities currently registered here,’ adds Murphy, who is organising the event for the first time, having taken part every year since he arrived in Dubai in 2012. ‘In our case the Al Maktoum Foundation supports our event. Their support has been instrumental in making this event a success in Dubai.’

The race is not competitive or timed, and anyone can take part, whatever their age or ability – whether your are in a wheelchair, on a bike, walking, running or rollerskating.

Dubai’s Terry Fox Run takes place from 9am at Festival Bay, Dubai Festival City on February 18; there is no entrance fee for participating but donations and t-shirt purchases are encouraged.