Despite fasting from sunrise to sunset for Ramadan, Haroon has pledged to run 260km to raise money for charity. He has started the huge feat to support British Muslim charity Penny Appeal, which has formed an emergency response programme to help poorer countries deal with the coronavirus pandemic. His target is £25,000, of which he has already raised over half.
All of the funds raised will go directly towards supporting those at risk of contracting the virus. This includes countries facing war, crisis, and mass displacement, where people living in refugee camps are unable to protect themselves and depend upon humanitarian aid for survival. The money Harron raises will also go towards supporting people in the where food and hygiene packs are being distributed to vulnerable groups that are isolating.
Haroon originally planned to run four world major marathons in five weeks but had to postpone his plans when the Berlin Marathon was canceled and the others put under review. Determined to see his fundraising through and further inspired by the 2.6 Challenge – where you choose a challenge related to the numbers 2.6 or 26 – Haroon vowed to go on.
This gruelling challenge is taking place over the month of Ramadan, with Haroon needing to average 8.7km per day to ensure he is able to meet his 260km target by the end of the month. He has been aiming to run 10km each day, with no planned rest days. As he is fasting, he fights exhaustion and dehydration, choosing to run in the cooler evenings so that he can rest once his daily challenge is complete. However, this means running after fasting since 4am, with depleted fluid levels.
Haroon says: ‘Running in Ramadan is such a challenge because you’re fasting for 16 hours every day, from dawn until sunset. ‘I feel very thirsty when I run, but I keep in mind the millions of people who do not have access to clean water and it motivates me to keep pushing myself. ‘I think of all the people who have had to flee their homes. I choose to run, but they have no choice.
I am running in solidarity with the millions of innocent people who are forced to flee their homes and rebuild their lives, every single day.’ Haroon began his training in December and had already run over 500 miles in preparation for his original challenge. He is now putting that training to good use for this new feat, with the added challenge of fasting throughout.