Running is still part of Hicham El Guerrouj's life. Despite having retired and joined the International Olympic Committee's Athletes' Commission as member, he still finds time to go out for a run.
"I am an athlete. Running is part of my life. I do it five days a week," he says as he takes a jog around Dubai's Jumeirah beach. He is here for the launch of Nike Free's summer collection range of shoes meant to give an experience of "barefoot running".
The stamina is still intact. He still runs for two-and-a-half hours each in the morning and evening. "It is important to stay fit and running is the best way," says El Guerrouj the 2004 Olympics Games gold-medallist and winner of four World Championship titles.
El Guerrouj has some good words for Indian athletes. "I saw Anju Bobby George winning bronze in the Paris World Championships. Her huge efforts not only brought Indian athletics on the world map, it also motivated youngsters to take up the sport.
The writer's trip was sponsored by Nike.