OVER the past two weeks, Asif Amirat of Manchester has been running around a coffee table in his living room after embarking on an NHS fundraising mission to complete 50 half marathons in 50 days.
What makes the HMRC engineer’s challenge more daunting is that 30 of the half marathons would be completed while he is fasting for Ramadan.
Amirat says he was “really touched” watching the “amazing work” by NHS staff, and was keen to express his gratitude.
“They are at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic and are risking their lives to help those who are affected,” he says. “I really wanted to do something for them.”
He adds that the challenge is a personal thanksgiving, too, for the “amazing” care NHS staff at North Manchester General Hospital recently gave to his premature baby girls.
“They looked after them like they were their own children, and helped them make it through,” says Amirat, whose parents had migrated from India and settled in Bradford, West Yorkshire. “I will never forget that. Now is the time to give back.”
The challenge involves completing a half marathon (13.1 miles) in his living room each day consecutively for 50 days to help raise at least £10,000 for “NHS superheroes”.
Amirat says the exhaustion made him initially think of giving up, especially after the “constant running around in circles” often left him dizzy.
“I tried to overcome this by playing music and watching TV whilst running, and it did help a little,” he says.
“The next major problem was the cramped space that I had to run around,” he adds. “I suffered a few knocks and bruises from my first few runs. I had to give 100 per cent focus…. Just making it to 5km what was so hard. But I just kept going.”
Amirat says running while fasting – especially the thirst – gets unnerving at times, but the thought of frontline workers fuels his determination.
So far, the challenge for NHS Charities Together has raised over £2,000. More details on the challenge can found at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/asifamirat.