Completing a marathon is tough at the best of times, but when you are an amateur runner who has not eaten for nearly an entire day it takes gruelling to a whole new level!
Yet nothing would deter Tariq Mahmood who took on the 26 mile challenge across Peterborough while remarkably fasting for Ramadan.
The 43-year-old from Bretton wanted to show others that it is possible to keep fit while respecting the Muslim holy month, as well as inspiring his three sons and raising a staggering £90,000 for families in Indonesia.
And he certainly managed that on Sunday by completing his Ramadan Run in four hours, 31 minutes, with more than 100 friends and family members cheering him over the finish line at the rowing lake.
Unfortunately for Tariq, who had never run more than six miles in one go before starting his training, he then had to wait another hour before he could break his fast.
He said: “I like to train during Ramadan. I go to the gym in the last hour before sunset.
“Lots of people say they don’t train as they find it too difficult. I thought I could do something. I started to do some research and it did not appear this had been done before.”
Having not eaten since 9.30pm the night before, or drank since 12.57am that morning, Tariq set off from the Trilogy gym in Mallard Road, Bretton, at 3.21pm.
His run took in places including Castor and Ferry Meadows before he crossed the finish line at 7.52pm.
Tariq was joined on his run by cyclists Christopher Coulter (first aid), Russell Khan (supporter) and Waqar Elahi (cameraman), with the event showcased live on Facebook.
The dad of three never doubted he would make it all the way, with his inspiration coming from his sons.
He said: “I didn’t get any health advice - I knew I would be alright. But my sister, mum and close friends were all worried about me.
“Miles 23 and 24 were tough because I had a niggle in my left knee, but I just blanked it out. My motivation is my three boys. When I’m running and tired I think about my kids. This is to show them anything is possible if you’re motivated enough.”
Money raised by Tariq is going to the New Home New Start project, which is providing homes for families living in Sulawesi, Indonesia, where many do not have adequate toilet or kitchen facilities.
Tariq will soon meet landowners and builders and will be helping to build the homes. Moreover, the Ramadan Run will return next year but with a 3k, 5k, 10k, half marathon or full marathon for all people to take part in. To donate, visit: http://ramadanrun.com/.