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The 23 year old had a very active upbringing,

being involved in Martial Arts up until the age of 18. In his later teens he went off the healthy route for a while before return back on course. “I was going down a road that many teenagers go down that involves a lifestyle of drinks and clubs, but I got sick of that and I wanted to get back to how I was when I was training really hard in martial arts. My mentality from my martial arts came back and I wanted to rebel against this culture that we have sold today of having to rock up to a party, and drink and never care about anything that’s actually important.” He became involved in ultrarunning in order to do something physically active that also helped other people too. Whilst get involved in ultra-running, he started his engineering degree at the university of Portsmouth where he became aware of a global need for clean water and sanitation. “It’s 2013 and there’s people with ‘iPhones’ and ‘iPads’, but no toilets. I felt there was a very big discrepancy in the human chain, and I thought I could raise awareness and help this problem. Fundamentally I raised money for ‘WaterAid’ which is a non-profit NGO that is in Sub-Sahara Africa, South -East and South Asia that is trying

to remove water poverty. One of the biggest killers of children under 5 in these countries is diarrhoea which is contracted through unclean water. Going to the bathroom and how we do so is critical to our health, and how we remove waste and deal with it affects our health too. It’s also a personal issue, especially for women. In SubSahara Africa women and men share toilets which isn’t adequate for their safety or security either. I also raise money for cystic fibrosis children in Portsmouth and for my sister’s drama teacher’s daughter who had very severe complication at birth.” For James, running long-distances was a brand new experience but he drew from aspects of his upbringing to help him prepare. “I hadn’t done much running at all before deciding to do London-to-Rome. I was a novice runner and it took 6 month of training before I could really start clocking the miles. When you train, you start improving every day. For the first week you start with 3 miles, then the next week you do 4 miles, then 5 miles, until you reach your aim. The training for London-to-Rome was very basic but very difficult. Again, coming from a martial arts background, I learnt that you have to suffer if you want to get fit and get strong. You can run around playing games but if you really Dec 2013

want to get fitter and fitter you have to suffer and break a barrier each time. Eventually we were doing 70 mile marches where we would carry weight on our back through the night. It was extremely difficult and hard. As I got more involved I became more dynamic and trained in many more different ways. In terms of training, James is an advocate of consistent, short, sharp goals that develops the whole body. “I have done very different challenges involving running, slow runs, faster runs, rowing and many others so I change my workout routines and training methods depending on the challenge I’m going for. In general, I keep my training sessions to an hour because doing more can be detrimental. It’s better to train for a shorter time periods at a time and do it at a very high intensity. Even for long distance training, spend most of the week smashing out short distance training routines and then dedicate two days to the long distance and build up. Even for work and study, it’s difficult to maintain focus for more than an hour. I like to go hard for an hour, take a break and relax properly and then come back to it. I train 6 days a week with 1 day off. For special events, I’ll make my own training camp starting 12 weeks before an event where I start training really

Profile for Positively Transforming World

PTW: December 2013  

Raha Moharrak and James Saward-Anderson share their stories of climbing Everest and running from London-to-Rome in PTW Magazine. Health, edu...

PTW: December 2013  

Raha Moharrak and James Saward-Anderson share their stories of climbing Everest and running from London-to-Rome in PTW Magazine. Health, edu...

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