Emon Choudhury

Emon To Race Across The City!

Last year's BBC Race Across the World winner Emon Choudhury will be running the adidas Manchester Marathon while fasting during Ramadan...

The big-hearted, former Race Across the World winner Emon Choudhury is taking on a significant challenge in 2023 by running the adidas Manchester Marathon during Ramadan, all while raising money for a charity after a chance encounter. The 39-year-old from Saltaire, West Yorkshire, who won the public over on the popular BBC series and social media with his affable personality and altruism, has said that a chance meeting with Leeds Rhinos legend Rob Burrows MBE motivated the challenge.

Burrows was diagnosed with MND in 2019, and can no longer walk or talk; computer technology allows him to communicate through his eyes alone. The emotional meeting sparked Choudhury’s desire to raise money for The MND Association this year.

This isn’t the first time Choudhury has taken on a fundraising challenge, having previously run the marathon last year when he raised an incredible £31,000; the proceeds of which went towards building an orphanage in Bangladesh. This year, he has his sights set on an even bigger figure. He said: “My aim is an optimistic goal of raising £77,777 for the MND association. The reason for the number seven is because I am dedicating my run to rugby legend, Rob Burrow, whose shirt number was seven. He has inspired me to take on the challenge in his honour.”

Speaking on his encounter with Burrows, he said: “I was fortunate to have met Rob and was inspired by his journey and the work he has done for raising money and awareness for the cause which is amazing. He's such an amazing character, although being diagnosed with MND, he has continued to motivate and inspire people with everything that he has done.”

If the marathon and his fundraising goals weren’t challenging enough, Emon will also be undertaking the event during Ramadan, meaning that he won’t be consuming any food or water before, during, or after the race. Having completed a marathon under the same physical conditions last year, he is feeling 'nervous, anxious, and excited' ahead of the big day.

“I’m feeling a wide range of emotions,” he said. “All in all, I have an incredible team behind me to prepare for the race, and also the reasons why I'm running to raise money and awareness for the MND Association.” He added: “Last year’s challenge was tough and took a lot out of me both mentally and physically. I didn't envisage the time after completing the marathon to the time you break your fast which is around 8pm in the evening. That time was mentally challenging for me knowing I had to wait five hours before I could drink anything.

“Physically I know I'm capable of doing it, but you just never know on the day. Some training runs I'll happily run 20 miles no problem, but other days I'm struggling to even get to 10 miles. This year my training has focused a lot on strength training to build myself up physically so I'm hoping that will pay off.”

He added: “This will be my hardest and wildest challenge to date; the reason being that the run falls more than half way through the month of Ramadan so I would have completed a lot of fast already prior to the run itself. My body will be depleted already and I plan on doing more fasted training runs during this month including my dreaded 20 miler before the race.”

“I’m feeling a lot of emotions, more nervous than anything, but at the same time excited to take on the challenge and get it under my belt.” 

If you'd like to donate to Emon’s cause you can do so on his JustGiving page.

Image: MNDA

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