One week after completing the dreadful Fleetwood Marathon, I drove up north to Elgin County with Nadia, kids and Amana Aunty to take part in the Moray Marathon on the North Sea coast of Scotland. The night before the race, we checked into a really nice B&B in the town center and went for a nice curry dinner. On race day, we got slightly lost getting to the starting line, but again, how lost can someone get in such a small town! I followed a few runners and we reached the fairground well in time to pick up my race kit.
A few weeks before the race, I wrote to the race director and informed her that I will be running to raise funds for the Pakistan flood victims. She was extremely impressed and put up the story on the race website and allowed me to keep the charity box at the start / finish line. The race started at 9am and lived up to its expectation. The whole family was there at the start line cheering me on. The race route was absolutely breathtaking. We ran through the picturesque country side and met some interesting people along the way. One such person was a football coach who had plenty of interesting tales to tell.
The course was mostly flat and with overcast conditions and little breeze, the run was very enjoyable. At around the 18 mile mark, I surprisingly bumped into Nadia and kids in the car. Later on, at the 22 mile mark, they were beside the park waiting for me. It was nice to see them all and I even had time to give the kids a few kisses before proceeding further. Mekaal wanted to run with me as well, so was hard leaving him behind. At the home stretch, as I was coming to the finish line, they announced on the public system that I was running 3 marathons in 3 weeks to raise funds for the flood victims. The whole crowd applauded and cheered me on as I crossed the line. The only downside was when they were announcing this; Nadia was taking a video of me. When we got home, we discovered that she had actually forgotten to press the “record” button!!! Other than that, it was a great weekend as we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I even managed to raise some funds as the charity box had quite a few coins in it. A great race and will surely do it again!!!
My first marathon in Europe! Nadia, Asim, Shazia and I drove from Glasgow to Inverness the day before the race. We found a B&B just in time as almost all the places were fully booked for the race. I went to collect my race bib but somehow it got misplaced, so they had to issue a new one to me. That evening, we went to a nearby pub for a dinner and had an early night. Asim was doing the 5K run. On race morning, I jogged to the race gathering area as it was a 10 minute walk from the B&B. We were bussed to the race start which was in the middle of nowhere, 26 miles from the city. The race start was very picturesque, with hills on one side and the loch on the other. The initial part of the race was along the loch and mostly downhill. The weather was amazing, cool but sunny (the first time I saw sun since arriving in Glasgow a week earlier). As usual the first 30k’s were fine and then I started to struggle. But with not much at stake, I slowed down, walked a bit and with Nadia running the last 200m with me, I crossed the finish line in under 5 hrs. The festivities after the race were brilliant, with BBQ, post race massage and a very nice medal and T-shirt. We all drove back to Glasgow that evening. A great trip indeed!
Ziyad Rahim is an adventure-runner from Pakistan. He currently holds 10 Guinness World Records in long-distance running, ranging from marathons to ultra-marathons.