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.

9 Inspirational Hijabi Olympians who Stand Tall In Victory & Defeat

Did you know there are 33 Olympians in hijab at Rio 2016? The Hijabi Olympians at Rio 2016 made a few headlines; from winning medals to finishing last. These ladies competed with positive attitude regardless. Many ages below 25, from track and field, to fencing, shooting, archery and weightlifting these young and strong ladies have much to be proud of – representing Muslim women who choose to compete in hijab and modestly.

Here are the 9 inspirational hijabi Olympians at Rio 2016 other than the 24 sisters mainly from Egypt, Saudi and Iran:

  1. Ibtihaj Muhammad, USA, Fencing

    Ibtihaj-Muhammad-Team-USA

    Strong and Determined Ibtihaj

    She did many of us proud. Known as the first hijab-wearing muslim American who compete at the Olympics at London 2012, this time at Rio 2016, she won the bronze medal  in the Team Sabre, together with 3 other female fencers. Hailed from New Jersey, Ibtihaj is apart of the United States National Fencing Team since 2010.

  2. Kamia Yousufi, Afghanistan, Athletic Women’s 100m

    Born in Iran, Kamia, 20 competed in the 100 meters at Rio 2016 with a ranking of 22, 14.02 second. Kamia and  Kariman Abuljadayel from Saudi are the two sprinters competed on the track in modest attire, covered with hijab. She definitely got the opportunity to learn from the best and hopefully they will come back to the Olympics in Japan in 2020 for better rank.

    105593003KamiaYousufiNEWS-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8

    Kamia Yousofi, upon finishing the 100 meter sprint at Rio 2016

    You can try out Nashata’s toplectic designed for performance to get the seamless look as Kamia

  3. Maryan Nuh Muse, Somalia, Athletic Women’s 400m

    After two decades of civil war, Somalia sent two athletes to Rio 2016. Mayran is one of them. She ran the 400 meters and finished last but she remained calm. After all, it is a new beginning for Somalian athletes.

    Confident and Inspirational Maryan

    Confident and Inspirational Maryan

  4. Salwa Eid Naser from Bahrain, Athletic Women’s 400m
    Although she didn’t win any medal at the Rio 2016, Salwa Eid Naser, 18, is the athlete we must watch. She completed running the semifinals 3rd placing at 51.06s. Prior to the Olympic, she won the gold medal at the World Youth Championships in Athletics in 2015

    Salwa clocked 50.88s at Rio 2016 400 meters

    Salwa clocked personal best time 50.88s at Rio 2016 400 meters

  5. Ayesha al Balooshi, United Arab Emirates, Weightlifting

    She competed with 15 other strong ladies category 58 kg weightlifting at Rio and ranked last. It is still a good performance as she did her personal best lifting 162kg.

    20160727-a

    Lifted 162 kg at Rio 2016

  6. Samira Ouass, Morocco, Weight Lifting

    She competed in Women’s 75 kg category and completed rank 7
    Samira Ouass

  7. Shehzana Anwar, Kenya, Archery

    She started archery in 2002 when she was 12 years old. At Rio 2016, she ranks 62 out of 65 other archers.

    shehzana

    Keep aiming for a good win!

  8. Minhal Sohail, Pakistan, Shooting

    21 years old Minhal got to compete at Rio 2016 for 10 meter air rifle. She is the first female shooter to represent Pakistan at the Olympics. At Rio 2016, she ranked 28 out of 51 contestants.

    Pakistan's Minhal Sohail competes in the women's 10m air rifle shooting qualifications at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016. / AFP / Pascal GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

    Pakistan’s Minhal Sohail competes in the women’s 10m air rifle shooting qualifications at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Shooting Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, 2016. / AFP / Pascal GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)

  9. Wadha Al Balushi, Oman, Shooting

    She competed in air pistol 10 meter at Rio 2016 and ranked 26 out of 44 shooters. She is one of the four Olympians representing Oman at Rio 2016. 
    wadha

Do expect them to compete back strong at  the next Olympics. Be inspired and stand tall in victory or defeat, like these strong ladies.

Sources:

  • http://cdn.muslimmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/Ibtihaj-Muhammad-Team-USA.jpg
  • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2016/08/12/105593003KamiaYousufiNEWS-large_trans++qVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8.jpg
  • http://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/styles/story_large/public/thumbnails/image/2016/08/14/09/maryan-nuh-muse.jpg
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  • https://cdn.stepfeed.com/uploads/2016/07/28004430/20160727-a.png
  • https://ssl.gstatic.com/onebox/media/olympics/photos/o16/live/RIOEC881L6OR3_768x432.JPG
  • http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/pakistans-minhal-sohail-competes-in-the-womens-10m-air-rifle-shooting-picture-id586403460?k=6&m=586403460&s=594×594&w=0&h=yDF__gUcx69R4nUv9JH70gOoqBezbHOvRItfydy9Qnk=
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