Ayesha’s Tough Mudder Story

I got down on my knees, closed my eyes and inhaled what only seemed like a life-size tub of Vicks Vapo-Rub. Never in my life had I ever screamed so much profanity as I wriggled my way through the tightest and muddiest of tunnels. I tried so hard to keep my mouth shut and hold my breath, ‘anything’ I thought, to keep the immense amount of menthol vapour that was blasted in my face from winning over me.  And that, was just one of twenty-nine staggering obstacles I overcame during my Tough Mudder experience.

I’m one of those ‘on and off’ types when it comes to hitting the gym. My twenty pounds a month subscription doesn’t often show much return, but I refuse to give it up – I need it to keep me going emotionally. When I’m there, I’m good. I feel strong. I feel empowered.

I was working in Corporate Communications for a company that went on to sponsor Mini Mudder, the kids’ version of Tough Mudder in the Summer of 2015. My colleague managed to secure free tickets (normally up to £90) for a set number of us to take part. When I was initially asked if I wanted volunteer I laughed and said ‘yeah sure’ without even thinking about it. Then came the day that I discovered my name was down on the official list. ‘Crap’, I thought, ‘I’m not fit enough for this!’ But anyone who knows me well enough knows two things about me; I’m always up for a crazy challenge and I love defying the stereotype of a Muslim woman. And I was the only Muslim here, I had to do this for my women. Continue reading “Ayesha’s Tough Mudder Story”

No different from the next runner

Nice article on the ParkRun website:

22-year-old university student Namrah Shahid had never run before taking part in Woodhouse Moor parkrun for the first time last April.

By her own admission she was instantly hooked, and Namrah is now working with Leeds University to encourage other female Muslims to take part in physical activity by breaking down some of the barriers that stand in their way.

When it comes down to it, the key difference between being a hijabi runner (wearing a Muslim female head covering) and any other runner is simply the dress code. As a hijabi runner I am no different from the next runner, but yet female Muslims are enormously underrepresented in running events and organised physical activity in general.

Read the article in full here: http://blog.parkrun.com/uk/2017/02/03/no-different-to-the-next-runner/

 

Tough Mudder Half for Islamic Relief

Alrighty, get ready to take part in one of the toughest challenges on the planet. One of Islamic Relief‘s latest fundraising challenges is Tough Mudder Half, a 5 mile mud run designed to drag you out of your comfort zone with a test of physical strength, stamina, and mental grit.

With the help of your fellow Mudders, you’ll overcome mud-drenched obstacles and adrenaline-pumping challenges. And you’ll do it all while having incredible fun.

With no podiums, winners, or clocks to race against, it’s not about how fast you can cross the finish line. Rather, it’s a challenge that emphasises teamwork, camaraderie, and accomplishing something almost as tough as you are.

The challenge will take place on Saturday 29th July 2017 at Broughton Hall in Skipton, Yorkshire. There’s a registration fee of £49 and fundraising target of £1000.

Not sure if a challenge like this is for you? Check out a few of the stories we’ve published from the Muslim Mudder Nation to date:

So who’s up for the challenge? If it’s you, click here to register your place! Good luck.

Ayesha’s Cycle Challenge

A poetic summary of reflections on my Andalusia Cycle Challenge 2016 for Islamic Relief’s Water4Life project:

 

Cycling through the plains of the stunning South of Spain

While desperately trying to distract myself from the pain

That led from my backside right down to my knees…

I inhaled the smell of a thousand olive trees

Continue reading “Ayesha’s Cycle Challenge”

Template: Tough Mother

This is a template for an adventurous fundraising event aimed at mums. As with all event templates on this blog, feel free to use or adapt it as you please.

Overview

A fundraising challenge, in which four teams of five Muslim women are sponsored to complete an arduous but fun obstacle course challenge. It is a ladies-only event, led by female instructors, aimed particularly at mums from the local community.

Participants can expect to trek over a variety of terrain, including hills, riverbeds and forest, as well as climb, crawl, wade and jump their way through numerous obstacles.

The challenge is designed to push participants to their limits, encourage positive team work and get their adrenalin pumping. It is open to women of all fitness levels: no experience is necessary, but a sense of adventure and determination is crucial. Continue reading “Template: Tough Mother”

Why you need to race in a mud run (and how to survive it)

A Busy Mom's Guide to Being Awesome-ish

While I definitely consider myself to be fairly fit, I am by no means a runner. I have always loved the idea of running, so back about 6 years ago, after I had my first child, I took up jogging. It made sense, given that it is tough to find activities you can do to stay fit with your kids, and throwing them into a jogging stroller is the lowest hanging fruit (see my blog on 8 Ways to Workout with Your Kids for more ideas). However, it was more difficult than it seemed. It took me quite a while to build up to my goal, which was 5k.

I set myself a target, which was to run in my first race. I settled on the Toronto Waterfront Marathon 5k. Seemed like a great idea, but in reality, didn’t work out to be that fun. It was like the perfect…

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Template: Eid Mud Run

This is a template for sisters-only fundraising event, based around a mud run challenge. As with all event templates on this blog, feel free to use or adapt it as you please.

What is it?

This challenge could be summarised as: Superhero Run meets Eid Party meets Tough Mudder. It is a sisters-only event in which participants are sponsored to take on and complete one of two obstacle course challenges, to raise funds for charity. Continue reading “Template: Eid Mud Run”

Template: Joining Letter

When you’re organising a challenge, participants always really appreciate clear guidance and information about the event. I suggest putting together a joining letter or email along the lines of the one below. Your supporters will thank you for it! Continue reading “Template: Joining Letter”

Trial and tribulations

Luton Islamic Centre, located in the heart of Bury Park, is a hive of activity. Daily there are study classes open to men and women. On Saturday nights volunteers from the mosque serve soup to the homeless on Luton’s streets. The prayer hall, meanwhile, regularly overflows with aid supplies, ready to be dispatched to the desperate and destitute in war-torn Syria. And while many other mosques turn women away at the front door, this one welcomes them, inviting them to participate in the religious life of the community. Continue reading “Trial and tribulations”

San Francisco Mudlims

race_2332_photo_46957744On Saturday 1 October 2016, twelve adventurous Muslims from the San Francisco area took part in the brilliant Muckfest fun run to help raise funds for the MS Society’s. Running as a team calling itself the SF Mudlims, they took on a light-hearted 5K obstacle course.

race_2332_photo_46942181Set up to allow participants to have a good friends, the Muckfest mud run is not super challenging: no suffering or pretence of toughness here.

Proceeds from the event will go towards raising awareness and supporting those living with multiple sclerosis — a cause close to one of team Mudlims’ participants, who has MS herself. An amazing time was had by all involved.

Zip Lining B)

Rana E.

As promised here is the blog about my zip lining experience. Now I know all those who went sky diving won’t think much of this but I’m taking it step by step. I love new experiences and I love outdoor activities but there’s just a tiny part of me that always manages to have a mini panic planned RIGHT before I jump into new things. Some things I can handle, others, like jumping off high edges, I seem to think “oh…well..okay” 😐


I know you’ve seen my blog where I jump off the peer into the water, but like I said, it was into the water. And although I don’t know what might be lurking there, I know the pain of me landing in the water is MUCH less than if I fall to the ground from I high distance 😛

It all started when we went to the beautiful…

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Run the Royal Parks Half Marathon for SKT Welfare

skthalfmarathonLet’s dust off those running shoes, prepare for a whistle-stop tour of London’s most beautiful parks and help raise funds to support the fantastic work of the humanitarian charity, SKT Welfare.

On Sunday 9 October 2016, thousands of runners will take on the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, which starts and finishes in Hyde Park. The 13.1 mile route takes in the capital’s world-famous landmarks on closed roads, including Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade and the Royal Albert Hall. It also passes through four of London’s eight Royal Parks: Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

SKT Welfare have 13 places waiting to be filled. Although undulating in parts, the course is not hilly and would be great for either experienced or first time half marathon runners, though couch potatoes need not apply. There is a registration fee of £50 and a fundraising target of £500.

SKT Welfare is dedicated to the delivery of humanitarian aid and solutions regardless of race, political affiliation, gender or belief. Its aim is to help relieve the suffering of the world’s poorest communities. Since its inception, the charity has accomplished several projects in the UK, Pakistan, India, Morocco, Somalia and more recently, Palestine.

Since 2011 and the onset of the crisis in Syria, SKT Welfare has re-oriented most of its efforts addressing the humanitarian fallout from this conflict, and has become instrumental in delivering aid to Syrians in need, both inside Syria and within refugee camps in neighbouring countries.

To register your place, please contact Nageena on 07427946971 or email nageena@sktwelfare.org.

 

8 Simple Conversation Running Points for Non-Runners

Unsure what to ask your running friends after their weekend running event? Want to give encouragement but unsure what to say? Here are some talking points when you get to meet them.

Before that, here is some information about running events:

  1. A runner registers for a particular category. These are the common ones:
    1. Full Marathon / Marathon is 42.195 km.
      Remember : A marathon runner runs 42 km. Anything below this distance is not a marathon. 
    2. Half Marathon is 21 km
    3. 10 km run (not a marathon)
    4. 5 km run (not a marathon)
      There are trail run, ultra run – more than the distance of a full marathon and the list goes on. Ask your friend about the category.
  2. Every runner who finishes a run within cut-off time gets a medal. No medal for non-finishers. This is one of the reasons why finishing a run is important to runners.
  3. Prizes on the other hand are for top runners for each category. Every running event has different categories – at organizer’s discretion.

Simple yet pleasant questions

Where did you run?
Some runners travel to run. They would participate in running events in different locations and cpuntries. This is because every running event offers different experiences ; climate, route, people, food and medal 

How many km did you run?
Find out how many kilometers(km) he or she runs. A runner typically chooses the distance he or she wishes. Anything below 42 km run is not a marathon, they are just runs. A marathon runner runs a 42 km run. However, he or she may run a half marathon, 10 km or full marathon to suit their training plan and fitness level.

How was the run?
Every run is different. Each run has different routes; some hilly, some flat and sometimes a mix of both. This affects the performance of the runner. The weather and temperature can affect performance too.

Are you happy with your run ?
Typically, runners who race have targets. They may be happy with performance and sometimes not. Sometimes, they can be happy to just finish the run without any injury.

What is your Personal Best time for <a particular category>?
Every runner wants to perform better in the category they register for. Personal Best (PB) time is a benchmark for runners to improve subsequent runs. Improving timing is important to them. 

How many participants were at the run?’
There are a lot of participants at a running event, in thousands and some in five digit figures. A lot of runners compete at a run and the level of their performances differ from one to another. Unless your friend is a fast runner, or competes in a not-so-established event, typical podium winners are the professionals runners. 

Thousands of people waiting for flag off time for 21 km category

Who did you run with?
A runner may have a running group or buddies he or she trains with. There are runners who run solo.

Running events are where runners get to meet each other

When is your next run?
If you have a nice conversation with your running friend, you can end with a positive note – asking about next running event.

Or you could offer a pat of your friends back and say Well Done! or Congrats! orRecover Well! Even better: you could join your friend.

Established in May 2013, Nashata designs and produces affordable modest ActiveWear. The philosophy behind Nashata designs revolves around giving comfort, choice and confidence to women taking part in sport and active lifestyles. To find out more, please visit our website Nashata.com, or visit our blog.

Get muddy for safe clean water in Gaza

Hold onto your hats (and hijabs): this one’s going to be a blast! February’s chilly Crawl of Duty mud run challenge has now been reincarnated as Mud Rush, an epic adventure to be held over the August Bank Holiday weekend in three locations across the country. Those of you who (rightly) considered mid-winter much too cold to take on an obstacle course challenge now have the chance to cool off  from the late summer heat (inshallah), while supporting an extremely worthy cause.

This tough sponsorship event aims to raise ample funds to provide safe drinking water to families in Palestine facing a severe water crisis. In Gaza, over 90% of the water supply is not fit for drinking. By taking on the muddy tunnels and tyre walls, swinging across ponds on the end of a rope and wading through river water, you will enable the humanitarian charity Muslim Hands to address the water needs of the whole community.

crawlofduty2016

Whether you’re based in the south of England, the Midlands or Scotland, there’s a brilliant challenge waiting for you. Those in London and surrounding areas get to experience the course of the famous Nuts Challenge in Dorking, Surrey, on Satuday 27 August. For those in Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Stoke, there’s the warped assault course in Wolverhampton on Sunday 28 August. And last, but not least, for anyone in the Glasgow area there’s the magnificent obstacle course at Mauchline in East Ayrshire on Monday 29 August.

If you’ve always wanted to do a mud run, but the likes of Tough Mudder and Born Survivor have always filled you with fear, this could be the perfect challenge for you. While these obstacle courses are likely to put you through your paces, they will be on the moderately easy end of the mud run or obstacle course race spectrum. You’ll need to be reasonably fit, but not a fitness fanatic; you will be given an in-depth safety briefing and guided throughout by a team of qualified instructors.

fundraise

The challenge is open to both brothers and sisters over the age of 16, or over 14 with parental consent. It could be the perfect challenge for a brave family or husband and wife team, looking for some quality bonding time. Alternatively get together as a community group and have an amazing adventure, while reaping the rewards of helping those in need. Transport to all of the venues will be provided.

With a reasonable registration fee set at £30 and a fundraising target of £200, you will enable Palestinian families to enjoy better health as they are less likely to get sick from contaminated water. With access to safe drinking water, children will live healthier lives and be able to spend more time in school; adults will be less likely to lose income due to sickness or having to care for poorly children.

Common questions

Expect to laugh out loud, discover true team work, experience fraternity at its best and get just a little wet and muddy. Join up with friends and family, work colleagues, classmates or members of your local mosque, and build the perfect team together. Dress up or down, in fancy dress or old clothes, and prepare to be put through your paces. Just don’t forget to bring a change of clothes for afterwards!

Adventures like this don’t come along every day. Why go to the extremes of the likes of Tough Mudder, when you can have fun with Mud Rush, whilst simultaneously raising funds to provide safe drinking water to families in incredible need? Go on, challenge yourself this summer!

Dedicated to tackling the root causes of poverty around the world, Muslim Hands is an international aid agency which has responded to countless emergencies and established many long term projects worldwide.

To find out more or to reserve your Mud Rush place, please visit the Muslim Hands website today.