Sir Bani Yas Challenge (29-30 March 2018)

Marwa Al Wadhahi, a young Omani lady who is enthusiastic about sports and adventure shares her experience at the Sir Bani Yas Challenge 2018. She loves challenges, pushing her limits and experiencing new things. She works in the Oil & Gas industry during the day and passionately practices sports in the evening and holidays. 

Marwa Al Wadhahi

I was very excited when I saw the announcement of Sir Bani Yas Challenge which was originally consisting of 3 km of kayaking, 10 km of trail running and 37 km of cycling. I was excited because I never cycled and kayaked these distances, I’ve never been to Sir Bani Yas and I’ve never done a 50 km challenge in single day. Basically the challenge had a variety of activities and in a unique and exciting venue.

Wildlife at Sir Bani Yas

Sir Bani Yas Island in the Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was the venue of the challenge. The island was one of the first “Greening of the Desert” projects established by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971. Over the years it became one of the UAE largest animal reserves and is home to over 15,000 free roaming animals and birds.

Due to circumstances out of control, the cycling was cancelled and the challenge was modified to become a total of +33 km of an amazing hike on & between mountains, fun kayaking and a long trail run.

The challenge was tough, we started at 6.30 am where the weather was foggy and nice then it got hotter as time passed approaching noon. I personally absolutely loved the hike and the kayaking, I found the trail run (which was the majority of the race) fun at the beginning but then it was really torturous due to the heat, strong pulsing cramps and trail that felt like infinity as the long distance was new to me.

I pushed myself hard, I felt like crying, I felt like giving up, I thought to myself “What made me do this? What was I thinking” I literally felt physically and mentally exhausted. However, because I signed up for the challenge with a mindset and goal to finish as a minimum and despite all the pain and torture I felt, I was absolutely determined to finish, I limped, I walked, I jogged with pain until the finish line.

Husaak Support Stations

On the other hand, the organisers, Husaak Adventures, and fellow participants along the way were very supportive which injected me with positive energy amid the suffering, I smiled to them, felt positive and said to myself that I can do it and I should not give up even though I felt like it! Giving up was just not an option for me. I had fun chatting with some participants along the way and cheering others to continue as well which really makes a difference and pushes people further. Organizers were at the water/food stations and also driving back and forth with cars cheering, checking on us and supplying water

Hiking Trail Views

With a few hundred people participating, Alhamdulillah I’m proud to finish 4th out of more than a 100 female participants, and 33th Overall out of almost 300 male & female participants 🏁 I really pushed myself that day. I haven’t had specific training for this event, just my regular gym training. So I was basically fit but not really trained for this kind of long distance running.

Trail Run

I believe if I hydrated more in the weeks leading to the event and practiced long runs, it would have went even better. Maybe I wasn’t trained enough or ready to go at the pace I was going at but the experience was definitely enriching. The feeling of true struggle that I haven’t felt in a long time, but pushing hard and fighting pain & fatigue to reach the finish line was priceless.

Nura Arabi – Nashata Ambassador

Strong yet sweet is who Nura Arabi is. A Canadian of Palestinian/Greek descent who resides in Abu Dhabi, Nura is full of positive energy inside out. This girl has broken many stereotypes. I first met Nura in 2016 when she came to Malaysia for a short visit tail end of Ramadhan. At that point, I admired her bravery for travelling alone from one country to another.

Nura Arabi finds Malaysia just like home.

We met again in Dubai early this year and she gave my daughter and I the best hospitality ever. My daughter will not forget the Camel Cookies she got us and I, on the other hand will never forget healthy meals and freshly-hand-squeezed orange juice she prepared for us while we were in Abu Dhabi.

FITNESS ++

To many, fitness is not just about building strength and ability to do headstands and push ups, but also eating healthy. But for Nura, it is beyond those. Her interest is rooted in research and development. She wants to help people to be better and that is aligned with what we do at Nashata – to empower women to have active lifestyle. A physical education (PE) teacher by profession, Nura instills the importance of discovery and growth as on-going process and she encourages students to see research activities central to daily life. At work, Nura teaches young children PE and swimming and every morning, she gives health tips for kids on Breakfast Club Show,  Pearl FM Radio 102.00, in UAE.

The Strength Within

SHE CARES & SHE SHARES

Strong and progressive, Nura cares a lot about building a healthy nation. She shares her views on how this can be achieved on newspaper, social media sites and podcasts. Her hard work and contribution in health promotion field was recognized and she was named as a Game Changer in GCC in the health promotion field. Hardworking and committed, Nura offers a lot of tips and knowledge to all.

Nurturing & Knowledgeable

Nurturing & Knowledgeable

SHE IS KNOWLEDGEABLE 

Teaching is in Nura’s blood. Her parents were teachers and her mother has been pivotal in her career and interest in fitness and education. After receiving her Masters in Education from Canada, Nura continues to read a lot and conduct researches pertaining to fitness and health.

You will never get tired of Nura.  Now, at 27, she is full of energy and has many fresh ideas. At dinner before she departed to Abu Dhabi, she told me about two things about keeping fit; Having the Knowledge and Willpower. Two of which you don’t hear much from others.

NURA – BREAKING STEREOTYPES

“I have heard about Nashata a while back but was a little skeptical (I have problems with online shopping) But when I checked everything in person, I fell in love. The material is light, breathable and will last you long. The black shirt I am wearing holds up to lulu lemon quality and can cross to a swim wear. ? The best part is the hijab. Fits like a glove around the head, the length stops at the neck ( doesn’t crumble under clothes) and very very light. You can literally take it anywhere and you can fit it in one of those coins purses”, says Nura on her Instagram/_ichallenger/

There will be more takeaways from energetic Nura, InsyaAllah, as she will be sharing her tips here at Nashata ! ?