Categories: RamadanWellbeing

Running for Hope, Faizal Momoniat’s Ramadan Challenge 2024

Extreme runner Faizal Momoniat has set himself a challenge this Ramadan – to raise £5,000 to help Palestinian children in need by running 15 kilometres every day.

This is not the first time that Faizal has undertaken a Ramadan charity running challenge.  “Two years ago, I ran 5 kilometres daily for charity and it was OK, so the next year I stepped it up a bit to 10 kilometres.  Some days are difficult but you just get over it.  I’m enjoying this so I thought this year I would try for 15 kilometres,” Faizal said.  “It is difficult. I have to work during the day. The daily run takes around 1 hour 20 minutes and then I have to shower. It doesn’t give me much time to myself and some days I do find it hard.

“When I launched the challenge this year, a lot of people told me ‘You are mad’, ‘You are a nutter!’ ‘Why do you do that? Haven’t you done enough?’” Faizal told British Muslim. “I like the challenge and want to raise money for children who need meals. I can’t let people down, children are relying on me.”

“I know how much I can push my body and when I have to stop. Children need the money, and what I can do is to run and raise money so I can give something back to society.”

A account manager at Capita, Faizal took up long distance running in 2007 and has been running steadily longer and longer distances, taking part in marathons and half marathons. Regular sessions at the gym and healthy food help him to cope with the demands being placed on his body. In 2023, he began ultra running completing long distance trails of 35 and 50 miles.  “I am already looking at future challenges. I want to do more trail running in future, stretching it to 60 or 70 miles.”

He admits that long distance running during Ramadan is not easy.  “Running during Ramadan without food and water can be exhausting. You have to pace yourself and choose your time to run carefully. I have been running while fasting for so many years that I know what to expect, but it is still difficult when you have been 15 to 16 hours without food and drink.  I know how much I can push myself. I know my limit. I enjoy the running, the challenge is pushing that limit.

I plan my day, doing my run in the late afternoon early evening just before I break my fast.  I start my run about 4.30 pm, and am able to break my fast about 6pm.  I get back, shower and then I can break my fast.  It is a long day, but I need to raise money for meals for the children.  It is tiring.  I do miss water during the day, and once running I do struggle a bit, but look forward to breaking the fast.  Some days are harder – when you are extreme running you do need liquid more. It does help knowing what to expect and how to cope.”

Varying the route also helps.  Instead of having just one set route every day, Faizal varies it running through parks, along the road and through the countryside. The added variety provides extra interest to the run.

He advises anyone thinking of trying long distance running during Ramadan that it can be done as long as you take care.  “Even if you are fasting, you can do all the things you like doing, and the sports you like. You just have to prepare. You can push yourself if you know your own limits and how your body copes. Having an aim does help.”

Faisal’s previous Ramadan running challenges proved successful, raising £3,000 to provide water wells and hand pumps across Asia, Africa and the Middle East as a result of his daily 5 kilometre run in 2022. The following year, he raised £3,500 for victims of the Turkey-Syria earthquake as result of running 10km daily. 

His latest challenge has raised considerable interest in local media, with stories being published in regional newspapers like the Lancashire Telegraph.  

Now part way through his challenge, the funds raised are steadily mounting up with £1,896.95 raised out of his target of £5,000.   He is appealing for more support pointing out that the project is Zakat eligible and every donation can make a big impact:

£13 = one child fed for a month

£75 = one child fed for 6 months

£150 = one child fed for an entire year

£300 = two children supported with regular meals for an entire year.

To contribute go to: https://www.charityright.org.uk/cr-star-campaign/7243/faizals-the-ramadan-challenge-2024

British Muslim Magazine

The adventurous spirit behind the pages of British Muslim magazine. As the Editor-in-Chief, Natasha leads with a passion for exploration and a pen dipped in wanderlust. With a keen eye for halal travel experiences and an insatiable curiosity for new experiences, she brings readers along on captivating journeys to far-flung destinations. Through her vibrant storytelling, Natasha invites readers on enriching adventures, where every experience is a window into the muslim world.

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