“For me running is not just an exercise, a workout it’s a lifestyle, it’s a goal, it’s an overwhelming experience therefore you just have to work at it constantly and let it grow on its own.”
Saradar Bank Women’s Race is an IAAF certified event, This May 21st these Elite Runners will be running the course of Jounieh. #أنا_معكي
The Bahrani Rebitu Bontu Edeo, at the age of 20 had accomplished more than most can dream of. Her passion for endurance sports led her across the world, so she let her legs do the talking. She represented Bahrain at IAAF 10KM World XC, and was a champion of 2017 San Francisco XC-ESP. She also got the 5000m Bronze Medalist for the IAFF World junior championships in Poland 2016.
Personal best times:
Race: 1500m Time: 4:07:55
Race: 3000m Time: 9:08:67
Race: 5000m Time: 15:25:12
Race: 10KM XC Time: 37:28 alt
Chenah Rima, is an Algerian runner born on 11 Feb 1996 where she represented Algeria in the IAAF 10 KM World XC, and 5th Algerian National XC Trials for the IAAF World championships Selection.
Personal Best Times:
Race: 1500m Time: 4:25:97
Race: 3000m Time: 9:59:71
Race: 3000m SC Time: 10:06:96
Race: 10 KM XC Time: 36:57 alt
And in May 21st she will be running in Saradar Bank Women’s Race.
Fatiha Bahi Azzouhoum, the 34 year old talented and dedicated Algerian runner will run Saradar Bank Women’s Race on May 21st. She is a participant for Algeria in Helsinki World Championships of Athletics, certified IAAF In her most famous performance, she crossed 3000mSC race finish line in 9:38.31 and scored the National Record of Algeria.
Personal Best Times:
Race: 3000m SC Time: 9:38.31
Race: 1500m Time: 4:08.88
Race: 800m Time: 2:05.22
Iskandar Lea, the 22 year old Lebanese elite runner, made a name for herself throughout Jamhour Club, Knowing how to stay composed, ran constantly and stayed in the hunt towards the end of major events, where she was the winner of the 10K women’s Race in 2015, and the winner of the Half Marathon Overall Woman BLOM Beirut Marathon 2016. This year, Lea will be Running at Saradar Bank Women’s Race on May 21st.
Personal Best Time:
Race: 10K Race Time: 38.57
Race: Half-Marathon Time: 1:26
Maayouf Majida, the 28 year old Moroccan Champion of the 2017 Memorial Jesus Luis Alos Huesca, Spain will be Running this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race
Personal Best times:
Race: 1500m Time: 4:26:67
Race:10Km Time: 34:58
El Gmiri Kebira, is a Moroccan elite runner, born on 24 October 1983. She was the champion of the 2017 Berkane 10 KM – Merkane – Mar champion. Kebira will be also running Saradar Bank Women’s Race on May 21st.
Personal Best Times:
Race: 1500m Time: 4:26:67
Race: 10 km Time: 34:58
Hala El-Murr, member of Let’s Run Club, participated in the Lebanese Championship 5 KM and finished at 20:20. The 37 year old Lebanese Athlete will run the streets of Jounieh this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race.
Personal best time:
Race: Half Marathon Time: 1:34:50
Aregu Abatte, is an Ethiopian Elite Runner, born in 1987, she is a member of Inter-Lebanon club. she competed in the 10K Road Race, Nakåoura Race 2017 – Lebanon and finished in 38.32. Aregu Abatte will be running this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race.
Kalot Nadine, is a Lebanese Elite Runner, member of Inter-Lebanon club. The 46 year old athlete will be running Jounieh streets this May 21st
Personal Best Times:
Race: 10K Nakoura 2017
Elite Runner, is about making your own attitude, not drawing lines nor diving between levels of runners.
Let’s Run Forward this May 21st at Saradar Bank Women’s Race. #أنا_معكي
I certainly don’t run to shed off the pizza I binged on last night, if that is what you’re thinking.
Although, it certainly does help.
I run because it makes me feel stable, mentally, physically and emotionally.
I run because it gives me a sense of belonging. A belonging to a family and a belonging to myself.
I run because I can, because I feel that my legs were born to move at a faster pace than walking.
I run because I love smiling at other runners passing by.
I run because there is no better feeling than looking straight into the sky only to get that overwhelming sense of freedom.
I run because it empowers me as a human, a citizen in Lebanon and most importantly as the woman I have become throughout the years.
That is not quite the reason why I run as opposed to other sports I do such as kickboxing, weight lifting or swimming.
I will try and explain to you, fellow runner or potential runner, the reason I run.
See as a kid, I was extremely hyper, I would run around and play in the streets of Africa or in the corners of Beirut with other children that I never met before.
I would feel so care free and happy. I wouldn’t judge other children, or ask them about their ethnicity or religion or orientations. We would just play, laugh and then go back home. No questions asked, no judgements made.
Those kids and I were connected solely by our love to play outdoors.
However, as I grew up, the happy care free moments lessened, and that hyper happy little girl I once was stopped being who I became. Slowly the child inside of me became a separate entity that was doomed to fade away.
At some point between all the incidents that come with life, I lost the little happy girl I was.
One day, I signed up for a training program called 542. I went on a run. One run after another, I started falling in love with my strides, the people running with me, the volunteer coaches, the streets and the blue skies.
I laughed as I ran, so happy and care free! I found that little girl I once lost in the midst of life.
I found her while running, with the support of other beautiful runners.
I kept running until the streets became my playground and those beautiful smiley runners became the little children, I once played with.
We ran together, care free and happy just like the little children we thought we weren’t anymore.
I never cared about my pace or the distance I ran or even reaching the finish line.
I only cared about the smiles and laughs and the satisfaction I got after every run I completed.
Now, as I found that little girl inside of me, I also found my escape, or as I like to put it: “I found my happy place”.
When I am angry or sad or just dealing with life, I close my eyes and just imagine myself running. Wouldn’t be amazing if each one of us had their own happy place?
What if your happy place is also running? Would you want to miss the chance of knowing because you are afraid you might run out of breath? You won’t, trust me. I didn’t, and if I didn’t, you sure wont too!
THE WOMEN’S RACE:
Now let me tell you why the women’s race in specific means a lot to me.
The first 10KM I ever ran was at the Beirut Marathon women’s race.
I wasn’t a runner then and I remember clearly that I went out of breath 10 minutes into the race, but I kept going because of the incredible energy and support I got from other fellow women. They empowered me, encouraged me and showed me lots of love and motivation. “YOU CAN”, they said. “Finish What you started”.
The woman race is a great opportunity for non-runners to start running , and it is a great opportunity for runners to encourage other women to run.
WHY? Because it makes us stronger women, stronger mothers, stronger sisters and stronger leaders.
It empowers young girls like myself to take a step forward.
It empowers strong women like my mother to run the streets of a city care free.
It lets her take some time off and go on a run. It allows her to be a little selfish because she deserves it.
It lets the women of my country find their happy place just like I did.
Every run makes you stronger, fiercer, better!
So, go on a run, cross the finish line or don’t cross it, but take a step forward and make yourself a stronger woman.
Don’t worry about your pace, your stamina or your endurance, don’t worry about anything what so ever. The point is not to worry. Your endurance will improve with every run as your mental state will improve with every run.
Don’t be afraid. We are all here to support you, to run with you until your brain forgets and your body remembers.
Do yourself a favor, go on a run. This is your chance to try something new, something different.
and Know that, I’m with you أنا_معكي#
Running is often a solo affair, a one-on-one with yourself and your thoughts. It’s your chance to connect both physically and emotionally with your energy; it’s the time when the amazing machine that is your body performs to its limits and takes you even further than you thought was possible. However, on some days, you may not feel like getting out and facing yourself, no matter how perfect your machine is. That’s when you need to choose a good running buddy, a fellow runner to enjoy the run together.
Here are 6 types of running buddies we’ve met around the city
Whenever I pass by Horsh Beirut and I see kids playing between the trees, I smile and think “Hey, I used to do that!” Jumping in puddles, walking barefoot in the snow and running in the rain, it felt incredibly liberating and yet you let it go as you grow up.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to rediscover this feeling? The city is the only playground you ever need. Whether you enjoy the hustle and bustle of Beirut or prefer a quiet spot, there are so many places to enjoy running this winter.
Baby, it’s cold outside
Yesterday was so cold I could have worn the whole closet. Ok I’m not saying that Beirut is as cold as Switzerland but to me anything below 10 degrees Celsius equals Siberia. So I geared up with everything I had to go for a run: thermal top, jacket, gloves, hat and scarf. When I arrived to Zaitunay Bay I found Coach Walid in shorts. He looked at me while trying to contain his laughter and he said “I really hope it rains”.
And rain it did
I soon learned that less is more when it comes to gearing up: long sleeves, long pants and a thin waterproof jacket are more than enough when you’re on the move. A Buff around your neck is also useful for all kinds of emergencies; you never know!
Persistence is key
It helps, of course, to have an annoyingly nagging friend who always drags you to go running, but in case you’re on your own just remember that “Energy and persistence conquer all things”. Stick to a schedule of twice or thrice per week, and you will not miss a run once you cling to your habit. It also helps if you avoid the peak rush hours. The best times to go out are early in the morning (before 6:30) or at night (after 7). You can make a trail from Gemayzé passing through Downtown to the AUB stairs.
Where there’s a café there’s a way
I usually crave a drink while running and I imagine the warm cup waiting for me at the finish. So the streets of Hamra are very enticing as I pass the coffee shops and the people huddled inside. It’s such a pleasure to finish a run with your running buddies and relax with a friendly conversation, warming your limbs and your heart. Make sure to stretch well first and wear an additional layer of clothing to keep warm after the workout.
Come rain or shine, the Beirut 542 teams, Running clubs, interLebanon Club, Elite Running Club, Nike Running Club, Team Walid and many groups and individuals are always running up and down the Beirut Corniche. You will find most of them on a Sunday morning in Coffee shops after the run discussing the workouts, gear, and of course posting their favorite running pictures on social media platforms
I <3 Running
There’s a quote that always makes me laugh: I <3 running (when I’m done). But what keeps me going is the amazing feeling when my face is warm, legs are tired and my senses are connected to the world around me: the runner’s high.
Beirut, habibi…The temperatures may drop but the running won’t stop!
Photography by Daniel Harakeh
#beirutmarathon #runrunrun #runninginwinter #beirut #runninginbeirut