Understanding Ramadan and keeping fit

 

Understanding Ramadan and keeping fit
KEEP CALM AND RUN... Ross Pisuena explains the concept behind the run, which is about respecting culture and tradition.

RunMadan Challenge started in 2012 and it was the bright idea by Pisuena to motivate his kids to have a healthy lifestyle.

By Angel Tesorero

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 11 Jun 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 11 Jun 2016, 3:00 PM

A group of runners has taken a better understanding of the UAE's religious and cultural life - literally, one step at a time - whilst keeping fit during the holy month of Ramadan.
They call this initiative 'RunMadan Challenge' and they run from one mosque to another, covering six to seven mosques and six to seven kilometres every night after Iftar.
"For us, running during Ramadan has both physical and cultural benefits," Ross Pisuena, organiser of the event and president of Filipino Runners United, told Khaleej Times. "Our goal is simple: we do not just keep our physical wellbeing but we also use running as a tool to learn and respect the main religion of our host country."
"Our Muslim brothers fast during the holy month and we also would like to take a similar challenge to practise self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and perseverance. And also by doing RunMadan Challenge we get a closer look and better understanding of the UAE's rich cultural heritage," Pisuena added.

Khaleej Times caught up with the group on Thursday night. They started their 7-km run from Al Ghubaiba Metro station in Bur Dubai and after doing the usual stretches they headed towards the Heritage and Diving Villages.
"It's like we're running and we're having a quick tour of different historic spots in Dubai," said runner Emmanuel Santos. "We had an interesting picture of early life in Dubai and we learned how Dubai started as a small fishing village and now what we see are tall skyscrapers."
The group then headed towards Shindaga Tunnel and crossed Dubai Creek via abra before heading towards the Grand Mosque which Pisuena, an architect by profession, described as "an excellent example of old architectural design."
"But more than appreciating the architecture," Pisuena's 15-year daughter Sophia said, "mingling with our Muslim brothers was really the highlight of the run.'
"We've been doing this RunMadan challenge for the past four years and every year I look forward to sharing an Iftar meal with our Muslim brothers and learning more about Islam. We also gain more friends and we learn to respect religious and cultural diversities," Sophia added.


RunMadan Challenge started in 2012 and it was the bright idea by Pisuena to motivate his kids to have a healthy lifestyle. From running every other night with only a handful of companions, the group doubled its participants the following year and became a nightly run. Last year, they visited 210 mosques and covered a total of 210 kilometres.
This year, the group is targeting to visit 215 mosques, including the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and to achieve a total distance of 250 kilometres.
Everyone is welcome to join the RunMadan Challenge. Runners are grouped according to abilities. They can walk briskly, jog or run, depending on their fitness level. Those interested in joining the 'RunMadan Challenge' should see the group page: www.facebook.com/Filipino-Runners-United

angel@khaleejtimes.com

Participants of RunMadan running in the Old Souq area towards the Grand Mosque
Participants of RunMadan running in the Old Souq area towards the Grand Mosque
PROMOTING CAMARADERIE... Runners meet new friends and learn to respect cultural diversities.
PROMOTING CAMARADERIE... Runners meet new friends and learn to respect cultural diversities.
KEEPING HYDRATED... A participant drinking water during the RunMadan Challenge.
KEEPING HYDRATED... A participant drinking water during the RunMadan Challenge.
BIG STRIDES...Putting one foot in front of the other helps these runners learn more about Muslim culture and tradition.
BIG STRIDES...Putting one foot in front of the other helps these runners learn more about Muslim culture and tradition.
VITALS CHECKED... A runner checking her smartphone if it’s working to monitor her pulse and heart beat before the run.
VITALS CHECKED... A runner checking her smartphone if it’s working to monitor her pulse and heart beat before the run.
CHECK LIST... Participants check who are their running mates. They are grouped according to their abilities.
CHECK LIST... Participants check who are their running mates. They are grouped according to their abilities.
PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL EXERCISE... At this year's RunMadan Challenge, runners are targetting to visit 215 mosques and to cover a total distance of 250 kilometres during the entire holy month of Ramadan.
PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL EXERCISE... At this year's RunMadan Challenge, runners are targetting to visit 215 mosques and to cover a total distance of 250 kilometres during the entire holy month of Ramadan.
CHECK LIST... Participants check who are their running mates. They are grouped according to their abilities.
CHECK LIST... Participants check who are their running mates. They are grouped according to their abilities.
SOCIAL INTERACTION... Runners pose for posterity. Every night, after Iftar, close to 100 runners participate in the RunMadan Challenge.
SOCIAL INTERACTION... Runners pose for posterity. Every night, after Iftar, close to 100 runners participate in the RunMadan Challenge.

More news from