Unmatched Achievement By doing this, he is covering the 5,164 steps included in the Great Wall of China marathon. “The average length of time it takes to run a marathon is two hours and 15 minutes, but most runners take at least three-anda-half hours to complete this particular one. I hope to complete it within four hours; that will be a huge personal achievement, perhaps my best so far,” he says. “Since I started running ten years ago to get fit, I have run the London, Dubai and Athens marathons, as well as a large number of Bahrain’s marathons, three of which I have won,” Idris says. As a member of the Bahrain Road Runners club, he has also competed in triathlon and ironman events. In fact, during 2010 Idris became the first Indian man to compete in the Malaysia ironman competition, the highlight of his career. However, the Great Wall race has been a dream of his for some time; “This is an iconic historical landmark, so large that it can be seen in space. It is the route I have always wanted to run,” Idris reveals. His love of running is so great, that Idris doesn’t even listen to any music whilst running to keep him motivated. “I become so immersed in my own thoughts and my drive to succeed is what helps me complete the race. The Great Wall of China marathon will be even easier to stay amused as the pure beauty of the course is promised to be spectacular and like nothing else.” As for what’s next, that is undetermined and Idris feels there is no need to decide this yet. “I like to take life one step at a time. I love marathons, but most important is my health, and running is a hard sport that pushes every muscle and bone, particularly in the legs and the feet, to their limit. Of course there will be another challenge, but we will have to wait and see what that is,” he muses.
It is a proud moment when Bahrain says it is home to a participant of the Great Wall of China marathon. Long and tedious, it is a certified challenge that only pros attempt.
44 May 2012 BTM
With the 2012 Summer Olympics fast approaching, the world’s focus has shifted to sport for yet another year. And while Bahrain may not be host to the event, it is home to one aspirational athlete who is travelling east to become the first resident of the Kingdom to run the Great Wall of China marathon, on May 19. No feeble matter, this stretch is one of the toughest for even the most experienced runners to undertake, due to the challenging terrain and the excessive amount of steps! “I have been training for months, and it is sure to be the hardest course I have tried,” explains Idris Mohamed. “Here in Bahrain, a friend found me a 29-floor building, which I run up and down six times, once a week.”
Great Wall of China marathon