Manchester’s Asif Amirat is a Developer Engineer and a running enthusiast. He has challenged himself to complete 100 Half Marathons for 100 Days at home.
He was very moved by the way that the NHS workers helped with the premature delivery of his twin daughters. As a result, he has decided to run 100 Half Marathons for 100 Days as a fundraiser for £10,000 (GBP) for the NHS Heroes.
We spoke to him to find out more.
RS: What gives you the motivation to run 100 half marathons in 100 days?
Asif: Seeing the wonderful NHS staff and volunteers at work really moved me. They are at the forefront of this COVID-19 pandemic and I really wanted to do something to help them. The care that the NHS staff gave to my daughters was second to none. They looked after them like they were their own and I will never forget that.
My daughters were born two months prematurely and had to be kept in the hospital for quite some time. The staff at North Manchester General Hospital did an amazing job with them.
So, I decided to do a fundraiser challenge to complete 100 Half Marathons for 100 Days at home. The first 30 half marathons will be without any food or drink from dusk till dawn because of Ramadan.
My personal challenge is to complete a half marathon in my living room each day consecutively for 100 days. I am running around the 2m x 2.5m coffee table in the centre of my small living room.
RS: Running in a circle in your living room can be challenging and boring. How do you ensure your motivation to keep going?
Asif: Yes, running around in circles in my living room is quite challenging and can get very boring at times. Running in circles for three hours straight gets quite repetitive. In preparation, I spent the 13th to the 21st of April 2020 (9 days) warming up by running daily half marathons. I was feeling quite dizzy.
However, the dizziness slowly began to disappear. Now, I do not feel dizzy at all during my runs. I keep myself motivated by having something to think about like the amazing work of the NHS staff and volunteers. I also listen to various podcasts.
Another challenging aspect of running around a coffee table, is that I am never running in a straight path. When I run outside I have the open space, fresh air and there are interesting things to see.
RS: What is the greatest challenge you have faced running at home?
Asif: I faced a number of challenges when trying to run my marathons at home. I was really doubting myself and having thoughts of giving up. But I didn’t let it get to me. The first thing was the dizziness. I tried to alleviate it by playing podcasts and watching TV. It helped a little.
Whilst running around the perimeter of the coffee table I only had a gap of around 40 cm between the coffee table, the walls and the sofas. It’s a very tight gap so running required extra attention to detail.
Initially, I collided into the sofas, the walls or the table. So I have a fair few knocks and bruises from that. In spite of it feeling like an eternity, I kept going. Just making it to five km is incredibly hard. I tried not to look at my fitness tracker but with sheer determination and grit, I made it through.
Do you also feel passionately about healthcare workers, premature babies and/or running?
If you want to make a donation with Asif, visit Just Giving to help raise £10,000 (GBP) for the NHS Heroes. You can also follow Asif on Instagram to keep track his daily updates : @asif.amirat