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.

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.


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.


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. 

Conquering our challenge

This is a guest post by Idil Osman.

Taking on Tough Mudder was one of the most challenging days each one of us have had. It was both emotionally and physically taxing, but yet immensely rewarding. The challenge to do Tough Mudder was of course our brother Bashir’s plan. He embarked on a fundraising campaign to build 50 wells across some of the driest and drought prone areas in east Africa. He had a fun raising target of £165,000, which he hoped to achieved by asking people to sponsor him to undertake Tough Mudder.

Sadly he passed away in July last year. At this time he had already raised more than half the funds and was well on his to becoming fit for Tough Mudder. It was an extremely difficult time: for us, for his friends, his colleagues and the thousands of people whose lives he had touched. But we didn’t want Bashir’s efforts and legacy to die with him. We as his siblings therefore decided to continue his fundraising and participate in Tough Mudder on his behalf.

The fundraising target by the grace of Allah was achieved within weeks of Bashir’s passing. Getting ready for Tough Mudder proved to be more tricky, at least for me. My younger siblings were generally quite fit; my brothers play a lot of football, while my sister is a marathon enthusiast, having run a number of half marathons already. I on the other hand am a workaholic and tend to dedicate very little time to other aspects of life. This had to change.

I joined the local gym, consulted a personal trainer, got a medical check up and diet advice. I felt very motivated but this came crashing down on the first day I hit the gym. I came face to face with how unfit I was and spent the next two days nursing some serious muscle ache. Determined, I went back to the gym that same week and soon started to feel the benefits of regular exercise.

Within a few weeks I was able to start running in the park which helped me to build stamina. In the gym I did 3 cardio classes and spent two days doing strength conditioning exercises. I would precede the cardio classes with a run. I did this for three months until Tough Mudder day came. My siblings had a similar training regime with some of them opting to do more running and others doing more of the football games they normally play combining it with weight lifting.

When the day came, none of us felt quite ready, but we were determined to finish it however long it would take. The Tough Mudder course is 12 miles long. There were some gruesome challenges: from the icebox challenge to the several 10-12 feet walls we had to climb. Everywhere was muddy, filled with periodic mud hills we had climb over and there were too many cold mud pools we had to walk through. If that wasn’t enough, Tough Mudder ensured electrocution was awaiting us at the very end. Our clothes were torn. I lost a leg of trousers halfway through and a shoe towards the end.

But the joy of all that anguish came when we passed the finish line and completed the course. It took us four and half hours. We needed a good few days to recover from the muscle ache and I don’t think any one of us would rush to do it again, but we are very happy to have realised our brother’s intention. We hope he would be proud.

Idil, Abyan, Muad and Mohamed

Common questions about mud runs and OCR

Are Mud Runs a thing? I’ve never heard of them!

Yes, they’re definitely a thing! Sometimes called obstacle course races or trail runs, mud runs are running events that will push you to your limits. Some challenges are just a lot of fun; others are for the serious fitness fanatic. Some challenges include obstacles, while others just include lots of mud. There are many such events around the country to choose from, almost all year round.


Are Mud Run Challenges really popular? Seriously?

They seem to be. Hundreds of challenge events take place in the UK each year, with thousands of men, women and children taking part. In the US, over a million people take part in them each year. They’re also popular in Malaysia, India, Australia, South Africa and Canada.

I need inspiration. Where do I start?

Our blog is as good a place to start as any other: we always try to feature upcoming charity challenges. If that doesn’t give you enough inspiration, check out our Challenges page.


Why should I even think about taking part?

For a start, they’re great fun. But they’re also challenging, so it’s a good way to attract sponsor pledges and support a charity. Your friends and colleagues will be seriously impressed!

Do I need to be fit?

It largely depends which Challenge event you enter. The Shropshire Mud Run, for example, is suitable for people of all abilities and is ideal for beginners (people with no previous experience of mud runs). Manchester’s Born Survivor, on the other hand, is aimed at the super-fit and super-tough. If you don’t consider yourself very fit, it would be best to choose an entry-level event. Whatever the case it would certainly help if you’re at least moderately fit.


How should I train?

You could meet with friends to run or jog together a few times a week. Or consider following the well-known Couch to 5K training programme, for which numerous smartphone Apps exist. Finally, follow the Muslim Runner blog for more great tips.


Will it be like Cross Country at school? I hated that!

Not if your choose a run billed as a fun event! Nobody’s going to yell at you if you slow down to a walk. There will be no teachers to jump out on you telling you not to talk, or laugh, or smile.

Do I have to run the course? Can’t I walk?

You could. But you might get left behind.

What kind of kit do I need?

Long trousers (running leggings or tracksuit bottoms), running top, synthetic socks and tightly laced trainers. For ladies, a good sports bra is essential.

What kind of footwear should I have?

Wear tightly laced trainers. Don’t go fancy dress on your footwear: heels or pumps are out of the question. Running socks are a good idea.


Do I have to run as part of a team?

No, but it would be much more fun. Team mates will give you moral and physical support, and help you get through it.

If you are running as a team, remember to apply the team discount code when you book your place where applicable.


I don’t have any friends. Can I still take part?

You can take part individually if you want to, but why not consider running with family members, work colleagues, neighbours or your arch nemesis?

I want to run with my brothers. Is that okay?

That’s an excellent idea. And it’s a great way to build relationships.

Can I run as a wife and husband team?

Absolutely, we actively encourage it. Training and taking part together is a wonderful way to grow closer and more become supportive of each other. Go for it!


My kids would love to take part. How old do they have to be?

In many cases 16 – 17 years olds can take part with parental permission, but you’ have to be present. Better still, run altogether as a family and enjoy some quality bonding time!

Alternatively, there are a number of events for younger kids, such as the Shropshire Mini Mud RunYeo Valley RockStars Kids and Spartan Junior.

I don’t like mud. Can I avoid it?

Um, not really. We suggest you just dive in.


I’d love to take part, but don’t live in the UK!

Challenges like these are taking place all over the world, in the US, Canada, Malaysia, India, Australia… the list goes on. Find an event near you and follow the same 5 steps to fundraising success. Don’t fret! You can make a difference wherever you are in the world.

What do I get out of taking part?

If you get people to sponsor you, you’ll get the reward for your charitable acts. You’ll have the sense of satisfaction of completing the course. You’ll have incredible fun. You’ll get some fresh air.

I want to take part, but my friends will think I’ve lost it.

You may be surprised. Take a lead and invite them to join you.

Tough Mudder for Bashir

Following the tragic death of Bashir Osman, head of FOSIS, last July, his siblings have joined together to take on Tough Mudder in his place, to raise money for Penny Appeal’s Thirst Relief appeal.

Bashir had been planning to take on the 12-mile challenge when the tragedy occurred last summer. With a fundraising target of £165,000, he was raising money to build 50 wells in East Africa, to benefit people in poverty and drought-stricken areas. He had planned to train for the event over a period of 12 months, in an effort to regain good health and inspire others to support the cause:

“As you all know I am in not the best of shapes over the past couple of years due to an abdominal injury. This injury has led me to gain weight exponentially. Over the next months I am going to part-take in Tough Mudder which is a 10-12 mile long obstacle course. In order to do this my fitness levels should to an adequate level.” — Bashir Osman

He was dedicated to this training regime until he passed away. Knowing that many people would benefit from his efforts, he was committed and passionate about this goal. So much so, that his own fundraising page has already raised £168,826 towards the cause.

Running under the umbrella of Bashir Osman’s Legacy, four of his siblings — Abyan, Idil, Muad and Mohamed — will take part in Tough Mudder East Midlands on Sunday 22nd of May. When their brother passed away, they were motivated to keep his memory and legacy alive by continuing his fundraising efforts, to not only reach his goal but to surpass it. They thus decided to complete Tough Mudder in his memory.

The siblings are working valiantly as a team to make this happen. Tough Mudder is a challenging obstacle course, spanning 12 miles of deep mud, barbed wire, ice cold trenches and other physically challenging obstacles. It is a test for everyone who takes it on, both physically and mentally. The members of the team have never taken on a challenge of this kind before, but they believe that with a lot of training and support they will complete it successfully to fulfil Bashir’s goal, inshallah.

Bashir’s siblings have a team target of £1000, which they are getting closer to each day. Please help them reach this target by making a donation to their fundraising page.

To show your support to the team, please make a donation on their fundraising page today.


Brotherhood Mudder Run

In an effort to raise funds for Islamic Relief, a group of lifelong friends came together this past week to take on two running challenges. Coming together as a team called The Brotherhood they took part in Tough Mudder London West on 30 April and the Muslim Charity Run inVictoria Park, Tower Hamlets, on 8 May.

“We came, we saw, we conquered,” said Zara Mir, who took part in Tough Mudder for the second time, “We came back a little bruised and very muddy, but otherwise fine! Massive love to this family of mine, they were teamwork personified, always supporting one another till everyone was over the finish line.”

The team raised over £930 for Islamic Relief.

Davies family complete Tough Mudder

This is a guest post by Yasmin Davies.

As you’ll know if you read my previous article, my siblings and I decided to take on the fearsome Tough Mudder challenge in order to raise money for Cancer Research on behalf of our beloved mother who sadly passed away after a short battle with Breast Cancer last year. This was a somewhat insane decision, but after several months of preparation, we finally faced the London West challenge yesterday, on Saturday 30 April.


Alhamdulilah, it was a great day. We completed all 12 miles and 26 obstacles in three hours and 45 minutes, which officially inducted us into the Mudder Nation! With so many water obstacles on the course, I felt like I swam a quarter of the way in very cold water.

The worst obstacle was the awful Arctic Enema — which is indeed as bad as it sounds — in which you are plunged into icy water as if reliving the final moments of the Titanic. This challenge knocked the breath right out of us; nothing can prepare you for that, but once we ducked under a tyre submerging into its icy depths we emerged with renewed focus and determination.


The Everest was another tough one: you have to sprint up a giant, slippery quarter-pipe — no skateboards allowed — and launch yourself into the arms of your waiting teammates at the top, hoping that they’ll catch you. Of course, you have to get one of your teammates up there first. This obstacle took us a few tries but we all got over it together eventually, with the help of our fellow Mudders. The camaraderie was great and team spirit was rife throughout the course!

Although Tough Mudder was excruciating and left us feeling drained, bruised and achy, we’re still looking forward to our next challenge. It was so tough that it pushed us to our limits, but our determination throughout the course and our successful completion of it left us with a great feeling of achievement. We are so proud that we did it!


By asking our friends, relatives and complete strangers to sponsor us to take on this awesome adventure, we managed to raise over £600 for Cancer Research UK, in loving memory of our mother. We know she would be very proud that we all got together and did this for her as a family! Alhamdulilah for such an amazing day.

You can still show your support and make a donation for Cancer Research via our  fundraising page

Siblings take on Tough Mudder in memory of mother

This is a guest post by Yasmin Davies.

We are a team of 5 family members, who, in a moment of scary premonition, have decided to attempt the extreme and possibly foolish Tough Mudder challenge in order to raise money for Cancer Research on behalf of our beloved mother! Our challenge takes place near Henley on Thames on 30 April.

Yasmin Davies - BG Survival Race

Our mother Zahra Davies who worked as an NHS interpreter for many years, was an active member of her community, giving her time on earth to serving people in need, humanity and her family. She was incredibly brave in voicing and standing up for the rights of the people as well as fighting against oppression. One of her main aims was to help community relations and establish peace in some of the most unpleasant situations around the world. She passed away in September 2015 after a short battle with Breast Cancer.

At this sometimes inconceivable and strange juncture in our lives we found ourselves contemplating life, humanity and how short our time on earth truly is! Which led us to our decision, to do whatever it takes to help give back and raise money for Cancer Research, which for us is an extremely worthy and rewarding charity, as it has the potential to save others from some of the unfortunate memories we share.

We have decided the best way for us, we hope, is by pushing ourselves and entering the Tough Mudder event! I have already taken part in a the Bear Grylls 5k obstacle course challenge, as well as an endurance walk, completing 25 miles in 13 hours. We expect our latest challenge to be tiring but fun.

Yasmin Davies - BG Survival Race

Please help to minimise the impact of this self-inflicted torture by donating a few quid and sending us a few words of much valued encouragement! Your generosity of time, money and good will is much appreciated.

To support Yasmin and her siblings, please visit their fundraising page today.

An epic adventure

The icy breeze of a chilly winter’s morning, 12 degrees Celsius tops, would be enough to send most of us back indoors for a lazy day at home. A bunch of brave adventurers determined to raise funds for orphans worldwide were undeterred however.

On Saturday 20 February 2016, nearly 40 men and women descended on a remote farm in rural Surrey for a fundraising challenge that would push them to their limits and beyond. To brave not just the cutting February wind, but freezing water, fearsome obstacles and muddy ground. The uninitiated would ask what on earth possessed these heroic explorers to sign up for such a challenge, at this time of year, but not so the participants themselves.

“It was all about helping out the orphans and doing something for those most in need,” explained Tarikul Islam from Luton. “We all are fortunate to have parents, so not having one is not something that we would like anyone to go through — especially small children in less able countries.”

Four teams – two groups of men and two groups of women – had signed up to take part in the ambitious Muslim Hands challenge, Crawl of Duty. They would complete a 5 km obstacle course run, following part of the course of the famous Nuts Challenge.

Tarikul went on: “An obstacle course like this was something we thought would be appealing to others to sponsor us for as they would know we were doing something tough and hence they would feel more inspired to help out.”

Tarikul’s team, the Luton Massive, consisted of five very close friends actively engaged in charity work. Members of the group had previously completed the Mount Snowdon Challenge with Muslim Hands in 2014, run marathons and taken part in several winter walks. They were set to compete against ten other men, including members of staff from Muslim Hands itself.

Team Mix It Up

Running with female instructors separately, meanwhile, twelve strong Team Mix It Up from Birmingham would challenge the seven member Team 313 from east London. The former from Mix It Up Ladies Fitness Studio in Birmingham are already seasoned challengers, having previously taken part in Islamic Relief’s Superhero Run and their Ben Nevis Challenge in 2015. They had tenacious competition, however: under the supervision of personal fitness trainers from 313 Fitness Studio in Manor Park, the latter were determined to conquer the course to raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause.

So it was that they set off on a great adventure, skirting around the edge of a ploughed field, not quite sure what was in store for them, beyond the river banks and forest ahead of them. Soon they would encounter mounds of mud and rubble to climb over, and ditches filled knee deep with freezing water to wade through. They would crawl through a tunnel on hands and knees, causing scrapes and bruises. Then more ditches and more banks to clamber back up again would follow, each one slightly more difficult than the last. They would clamber through a tangle of cables and pipes designed to trip them up and tie them in knots, then skip over old tyres set out across the ground.

A few moments of reprieve would follow as they jogged through the woodland, climbing over fallen trees here and there, but soon they would be scrambling down a river bank and into the ankle deep water, to follow the river along its course. Next they would climb up another steep bank again, grabbing hold of rope netting, working together as a team to help each other out. Over the top and down into the river again. In and out, up and down, wading and climbing and running. Climbing over a platform. Climbing over a wall of tyres. Nearly drowning when the river bed gave way to a hidden trench around a bend.

Teamwork was the key on this obstacle course. Some of the obstacles were impossible to overcome alone. At every point all the members of every team worked together, helping each other up through difficult situations. Great communication and understanding of each other’s needs helped them complete the challenge together. Far from giving up, the participants found themselves getting more energetic as the event went on.


At one point they had to pull themselves through a tunnel, set vertically up a bank. This challenge took all the energy out of the participants and only “Alhamdulilah” was an adequate rejoinder there. A massive climbing net followed, rising as high as nearby trees. Going up was not necessarily the problem though, but getting down the other side: they had to slide down poles back to ground level. Some of them would conquer their fear of heights here.

Next obstacle: a rope swing across a muddy pond. Each participant grabbed hold of the rope and tried to swing right over to the other side. Most failed miserably and sloshed down into the cold brown water almost immediately; everyone was convinced that the rope was actually too short and they’d been set up to fail. But the challenge waits for no one. Moments later they’re crawling on their fronts through sloppy wet mud, under a mesh of barbed wire.

Another water filled ditch followed. Then a balancing bar over another one. Then a mound of earth and yet another ditch, waist deep. Then another wall of tyres to clamber over; another excuse to work together as a  team. Then down into a series of tunnels, then up over a vast pile of tyres, then under a bar, then over the next one, then through a tyre, then over a fence; enough to cause anyone to give up. It was exhausting and tough.

But even all of that probably could not prepare them for possibly the worst obstacle of the course: to jump off a large platform into a deep, long, cold pond, shoulder deep, which they had to wade or swim across to the other side. They were soaking wet and the only consolation was that the water washed off the thick mud from their clothes. It’s a surprise they didn’t get hypothermia. But they’re on the home straight now: they’re heading for the finish line and victory.


“The experience was epic,” exclaimed Nadiya from Team 313, “Going through freezing cold water, the level of which varied from knee high to almost drowning, and so many obstacles: falling and slipping in mud, screaming like buffoons, conquering my fear of heights… What more can I ask for in return of helping create a brighter future for orphans, inshaAllah?”

The course took under an hour to complete, with a medal and certificate awarded at the end. Altogether, those participating raised over £7000 for Muslim Hands’ orphans worldwide appeal, which is an extraordinary achievement. But then these were extraordinary people, mashallah!

“Crawl of Duty was amazing,” said Ayesha from Team Mix It Up: “Massive shout out to the ladies that took part!! We smashed it and everybody completed it all… Covered in bruises today but feel fantastic.”

Other participants described Crawl of Duty as the best event they had been to. “Enjoyed every moment of it and would do it again and again,” said one participant.

“We are so lucky that we did this,” said another, “I would very much recommend it to others! It’s all for a good cause and you have fun. It’s win win!! Felt muddy, exhausted and tired yet still I had the best time ever, especially as I was with my close mates!”

Those of us who missed out, fearing that February would be just too cold to take on such a challenge, can only be a little envious not to have been there now. We missed an epic adventure, some brilliant teamwork and the opportunity to do immense good on behalf of others. Next time we will be brave! Next time, inshallah!

Primal Stampede

This is a guest post by Shehzad Modoolla.

Like many guys my age, I grew up watching shows like Fort Boyard, and always wanted to try my hand at something similar. But like many other guys my age, life always seemed to get in the way! There was always something else to do or somewhere else to be. My work mates have been doing Tough Mudder for the last couple years and every year I said I would join them, but never did.

So, when my Mrs signed up for Primal Stampede with her work colleagues and signed me up (without asking me!), I didn’t have much of a choice. It was already paid for, the weekend was free, the weather was forecast to be good — no excuses really.

Primal StampedeI was a bit reluctant at first, but when I looked into it, the gym (Primal Gym) appeared to be quite different — good different! Four free gym passes and four free customised outdoor training sessions came with the subscription so we both decided to give it a go. Might as well get some training under our belt so at least we don’t die on the day! Best decision ever! The gym training is completely different to anything I’ve seen before, the best way I can describe it, is it’s… organic (look it up!).

For a first in Leeds, Primal Stampede’s assault course was perfectly well balanced — just the right level of difficulty for beginners to get through, and experienced athletes to be challenged. A combination of load carrying, ice baths, water slides and the obligatory mud pit filled the day with fun and excitement. Two laps were required to complete the course, but at the end of it I felt like I could have done another one!

I enjoyed it so much I’m going back for another serving this year! Who would have thought! My advice to anyone else who, like me, has been putting it off would be to just take the plunge and go for it. Mud runs or assault courses or whatever other fancy names they are called these days, are really good fun.

Oh and all the time I raised money for Orphans in Need and the Jane Tomlinson’s Appeal.

Bring on 2016!

3 Reasons Why an OCR is a Great New Year Resolution 

Loved this post on why taking on an Obstacle Course Race is a great New Year Resolution. Head on over to read three great reasons to get started on the road to adventure.

Ryan Runs in Mud

2016 is finally here, and we all know what that means: time to make those resolutions!

Of course, the running gag of resolutions is that you almost feel like you’re making the same one year after year after year. That gets you stuck in this seemingly never-ending rut. You may think there is no chance of achieving your resolution. But that’s not true! You’re probably just approaching it wrong. So, with that in mind, here are 3 reasons why running for an OCR is a great resolution.

View original post 507 more words

Bear Grylls survival challenge

This is a guest post by Yasmin Davies.

Yep, so we survived! As a scout leader I took our Cub scouts to the BG Kids Race and then competed in the 5k race myself.

The idea of the race is based on the idea that overcoming adversity in the wild can build a man or woman’s physical and mental strength in a totally unique way.

“So many people seek adventure and challenge through computer games, when in truth we can all develop our own wilderness warrior spirit and physicality, for real.”

Bear Grylls seemed to be surprised that Muslim women were involved in scouting, which is why he took interest in our group and gave us VIP treatment for the day!

Yasmin Davies takes on BG Survival Race

I must admit that his response of astonishment at muslim women being active in scouts and sports was shocking to me, coming from the UK Chief Scout and a celebrity — Bear Grylls, after all, has become known around the world as one of the most recognised faces of survival and outdoor adventure. However it gave me a huge push to continue to do dawah, especially for Muslim Women in the UK, inshallah.

There are many more adventures to come, inshallah.

Spartan Race 2015

Let me start off with a confession: I am scared of heights. Maybe it’s because I overthink about the risk of falling, but most of the time it’s about having confidence that I can do it. The phobia is not mind crippling or hinders me in any way, but I wish I was one of those people who can confidently take the plunge to “Just do it”. (Cliché, but true)

So to challenge all the little voices of doubts in my mind, I signed up for an obstacle race called Spartan Race. The last time I entered an obstacle race was Viper Challenge (read about it here). In Viper Challenge, you were allowed to skip the obstacle if you’re not up for it, but this was not the case for Spartan Race; every incomplete obstacle will cost a penalty burpee. So, I had to choice but to suck it up, face my fears, and force myself to do it.

Spartan Race consisted of 6+km run and 22+ obstacles. The challenges will involve monkey bars, ‘burden runs’ such as running while carrying 20lbs sand bag or medicine ball, and yes, as expected, lots of climbing. The day before the race I kept saying to myself over and over again that I will not surrender to any challenges without a fight. Facing my fears in the eyes is the only way to overcome it, avoiding it will only make it worst.

There were lots of slippery mud too, and sometimes the safest way to descend a steep surface was just to slide down. Luckily, my Nashata compression pants came attached with a skirt so I was confident that the skirt will prevent any thorns or stones from getting into the pants or worse, cause the pants to tear. (Imagine the unnecessary bum show if that happened!)


Overall, it took me about 2 hours and 33 minutes (official timing) to complete the race. I believe it will take more than just an obstacle race to ‘cure’ myself from this fear of heights, but at least I have installed the confidence needed and remind myself that sometimes it’s just all in the head.


ToughBrudders take on Tough Mudder for MAP

On 27 September 2015, Mohammed Khankhara and Haseeb Khan will be running in a Tough Mudder event, to raise funds for the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). They say:

We will never forget the tragic events of the summer of 2014, when Gaza was relentlessly attacked leaving thousands dead and many more injured, they need our support more than ever not only for basic necessities such as food and clothing but also for medical aid. Many of the hospitals looking after the critically ill are desperately in need of medical experts or life-saving equipment and medicine.

Tough Mudder is a grueling challenge: 10-12 miles of running broken up with obstacles, which will test their grit, determination and teamwork, as well as physical and mental strength. The pair recently completed the National Three Peaks Challenge. The training for Tough Mudder will be more intense: sacrificing early morning lie-ins for 5-mile runs and a 5-7 day a week training regime until a week before the event, come rain or shine.

We are not physically ‘Tough’ people but in training for Tough Mudder, we hope to become stronger people physically and mentally and your donations will be the spark that ignites our motivation to see this through.

Without donations from generous supporters, MAP wouldn’t be able to do the work they do. They work for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees. They deliver health and medical care to those worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement.

Working in partnership with local health providers and hospitals, MAP addresses a wide range of health issues and challenges faced by the Palestinian people. With offices located in Beirut, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Gaza City, MAP responds rapidly in times of crisis, and works directly with communities on longer term health development.

To support Mohammed and Haseeb, visit their fundraising page now.