Tough Mudder Survival Kit for the Muslim woman

In my last post I told you all about my experience taking on Tough Mudder. In this post I want to give you my opinion on the kind of kit I think other Muslim women should wear if they’re thinking of taking on Tough Mudder or a similar mud run event. So here goes…

  • A tight waterproof one piece headscarf
  • A second tight waterproof one piece headscarf that can be tied on to you to change into after water obstacles – the cold water blocks up in your ears under the scarf
  • Expensive quality leggings and t-shirt
  • The lightest weighing trainers you can find
  • A fleece hoody
  • Sports gloves
  • A sports bra
  • Cotton high leg or shortie knickers

 

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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”

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.

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.

Continue reading “Davies family complete Tough Mudder”

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.

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.

Insane Eid for Orphans in Need

This is a guest post by Shokat Zaman, Fundraising Officer at the award-winning charity, Orphans in Need.

Straight after Eid on Sunday 27 September, Orphans in Need will be taking part in Insane Terrain Part II. As the title suggests, this follows on from Insane Terrain Part I, which I participated in back in April this year.

Participants have the option of choosing either the 5k or 10k runs. Opting to err on the side of caution, we chose the 5k run, which by the end of the race, proved to be plenty!

My experiences of that day are still fresh in my mind. We started the day with a lovely early morning drive heading up from London to Peterborough, past the lovely Cambridgeshire countryside, before being guided onto a grassy area, which served as a makeshift car park for the run. It was difficult not feel uneasy at the sight which greeted us as we left the car, which was a large group athletic looking guys crumble to their knees, panting for breath. We quickly walked past them after making sure they were alright, eager not to tamper our excitement at the prospect of overcoming this awesome challenge.

insane

After being given a five-minute warm-up by a guy who bore a strong resemblance to the Drill Instructor from ‘Full Metal Jacket’, we made our way to the start line. The crowd who were there to watch us from the sidelines were a bright and cheerful bunch, quick to give their friends and family members taking part words of advice; “Have you warmed up properly, mate?”. “Pace yourself, don’t go running ahead of the pack from the start” said another.

The Orphans in Need crew came together in a huddle, giving ourselves a mini pep-talk before the start of the race. After a few brotherly hugs, we stood – arms akimbo- toes on the start line. As the horn sounded to signal the start of the run, many of us for whom this was a first experience, couldn’t help but smile through the first 100 metres.

After clambering up giant haystacks and wading through ankle deep streams of water which cut across the forest track, some of us made the decision to part company with the group. It was a pragmatic decision based upon careful consideration of the facts; we were tired!

The real sticking point came when our team members Mohammed and Hamza came across a big body of water stacked with a series of small sponge steps which we were expected to jump from one to the other without stopping, lest they fall into the water. After successfully navigating this particular challenge, Humza decided to pull Mohammed back and into the water. Mohammed was quick minded enough to pull Humza in with him, to hoots of laughter from all around.

By the time we reached the finishing line, having navigated our way through zip wires in the forest and balancing poles, we topped it off by sliding across a 30ft water slide being sprayed with fairy liquid. Yes we were tired, cold, wet and caked in mud, but we all felt we had achieved something that day. We pushed ourselves to the limit not because we had to, but because we chose to. In the end, it wasn’t tiredness that we felt, but an overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction.

If you’d like to help me accomplish this daunting but rewarding challenge, please donate towards my sponsorship by visiting:

https://www.justgiving.com/Shokat-Zaman2

For further information or if you’d like to take part in our upcoming Insane Terrain challenge on 27 September 2015, please visit the Orphans in Need website. Free transport will be provided from London and Birmingham.

Getting the most out of your Mud Run

This is a guest post by Yatie Nadzli , sharing 20 helpful tips on getting the most out of your Mud Run. Earlier this year, Yatie took part in the Viper Challenge, Asia’s biggest obstacle course event.

1. Form a team of fabulous teammates and prepare to have fun!

Continue reading “Getting the most out of your Mud Run”

Insane Terrain II for Orphans in Need

Hold onto your hats: this is going to cheer you up. Orphans in Need have a fabulous challenge lined up for you this September: their perfectly muddy off road obstacle course race, Insane Terrain, is back, spanning either 5km or 10km (your choice).

Taking place on 27 September near Peterborough, it’s a sponsorship event designed to help build a safe and loving orphanage providing holistic care for 150 orphans in Kashmir. Every pound that you raise by taking on this challenge will go towards making this vision a reality.

For more information, visit their Insane Terrain web page and sign up today. This is definitely a date for your diary!

Hussain Master takes on Tough Mudder (again)

On 14 September 2014, Hussain Master from Preston in Lancashire did something extraordinary. He raised over a thousand pounds for the Dancing Eye Syndrome Support Trust, a charity which helps and provides assistance to children who have the rare condition, Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome. How? By conquering that famously feared obstacle course race known as Tough Mudder.

Pushing himself to his limits on a 12 mile obstacle course designed by Special Forces, he overcame every challenge thrown at him: the hills, mud, water, ropes, walls, electric shocks and burning fire, emerging with a massive sense of achievement. Such a task would defeat most of us, but Hussain was undeterred: even a dislocated shoulder and a dodgy knee caused by operations on both could not dampen his determination.

“It was a crazy event,” Hussain told us, “A few of us took part and we trained for it together, making sure we were all prepared.”

For most people, completing a challenge that overwhelms twenty percent of entrants would be enough: something to tick off the bucket list. But Hussain Master was just starting.

In two months’ time, on 12 September 2015, he will be doing it all over again, this time to raise funds for a local charity called A Day of Sunshine, based in the heart of Lytham St Anne’s in Lancashire. Working with children with life threatening illnesses, as well as children living in poverty, this charity aims to bring a little sunshine into the lives of deserving local children, by providing them and their families with free holidays at home and abroad.

Against the backdrop of Cholmondeley Castle in the Cheshire, Hussain will again take on the North West challenge, which is arguably one of Tough Mudder’s most unique and challenging events. Pushing on across the harsh terrain, through dark forest trails and over thick, heavy mud, every second will be a challenge. This ten mile obstacle course is designed to test physical strength and mental grit. It’s an adventure most of us would balk at.

Help Hussein accomplish this amazing feat with a donation towards his nominated cause. For further information and to pledge a donation, visit his fundraising page now.

Muslim Hands Crawl of Duty

Muslim Hands Scotland presents, Crawl of Duty: a 5K assault course to test your strength and stamina.

Join Muslim Hands as they embark on this obstacle packed mission to raise money for their Emergency Fund to support crises in Iraq, Palestine and Central Africa. Test your ability to the max and fuel your inner adrenaline to its peak as you fight for survival. From crawling through tunnels to jumping over walls and facing the ice cold water, you’ll be pushing yourself to the limit.

This gender segregated challenge (separate tracks for men and women) takes place at the Scottish Adventure Centre, Craufurdland Castle, Fenwick, East Ayrshire. If you live in Scotland or the north of England, this is a challenge not to be missed!

crawlofduty-poster

Book your place today: https://muslimhandsuk.wufoo.eu/forms/crawl-of-duty/

Isra Mohammed takes on Tough Mudder


On Saturday 25 October 2014, sister Isra Mohammed braved the elements to take on the Tough Mudder obstacle course race at Foil Farms, Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina, USA.

Joined by Rand Alkurd, Lauren Wolcott, Husain Abdulbaqi and other friends, Isra took on twenty obstacles over the eleven mile course, emerging on the other side with a massive sense of achievement.

It was extremely tough, but nothing could defeat this Masters graduate, least of all the mud, blood, sweat, and tears! Whether she’ll run again is another matter.

Tough Mudder North Carolina

“11 miles, 20 obstacles, mud, blood, sweat, and tears. And no one forced us! Boo-YAH!”

Saima and Marria take on Born Survivor

saimanaseemThis one is for the naysayers, who think there’s no place for an obstacle course event in the Muslim woman’s fundraising tool-kit. Saima and Marria Naseem from Rochdale are training to take on the Born Survivor 10k military obstacle course in Cumbria next Saturday, to raise funds for the  Bury Cancer Support Centre, after the pair lost their four year old niece to terminal illness.

Together they will be tackling the tough challenge as part of a team around 40 runners. The course will see participants climbing over walls, wading through mud and crawling through tunnels on brutal and unforgiving Lake District terrain.

“We found out about the Born Survivor challenge from Marria’s fitness instructor who takes part every year,” Saima said. “Around three months ago, we decided we would give it a go so we’ve been training hard at the gym and going to the instructor’s boot camp classes to prepare. It’s going to be hard but we are looking forward to the challenge and are hoping the weather will be on our side. Between us, we aim to raise around £500 which will go towards the Bury Cancer Unit to help children with cancer like Sahar.”

Team Deakin, with which the pair are running, are raising funds via JustGiving: https://original.justgiving.com/teams/teamdeakin

Born Survivor is way too tough for me, but it gives me hope for our easier, more light-hearted affair.

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