guest article by Nicholas J. Ashill, American University of Sharjah, UAE

I have a story to tell you and I hope it ignites passion in a way that it has for me. I am a Professor of Marketing at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.  I also perform the role of Associate Editor for the Journal of Services Marketing and the European Journal of Marketing.

On May 14 2017 I will begin the biggest physical and mental challenge of my life.  I am planning to run 5400km across the United States of America following historical Route 66.  I will start in Los Angeles and I will finish in New York around 108 days later averaging around 50km per day. I have run ultra-marathons for many years but not a run on this scale so the challenge will be physically and mentally very demanding. My route will certainly be more challenging than most previous transcontinental crossings.  I have decided to take a longer route and my run will be during the summer months.

I will be raising money for individuals and families dealing with pulmonary fibrosis.  My mother died of this illness in 2015.  So many people who live with this very debilitating illness need emotional, practical and financial support.  I have partnered with The Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust who do a phenomenal job at providing support to people affect by pulmonary fibrosis. My family received so much love and emotional support during the last 2 years of my mum’s life and I want to give back.  The run is one way I believe I can do this. At the same time, I wish to promote health and well-being and inspire others to achieve their own goals in life.  I want to communicate to others that for an ordinary person to do something extraordinary, you must never be afraid to dream big.

If you would like to know more about my run please check out my website at  The website explains how you can donate to my campaign.  So far I have raised US $12000 to cover the logistical costs associated with the run.  I have a target of $35000 by the end of April.

If you are able and would like to make a donation direct to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Trust, details can be found at 

Thank you for your help and support.  If you are in America between May and August and want to join me, please let me know!  It would be fantastic to run with other services marketing researchers!

Professor Nicholas J. Ashill
skype: nick.ashill
email: or
Tel:  0097165152526 or 00971 50 3794413