Great Britain

Bradford's Ash Wallace on his Ramadan running challenge

A FATHER-OF-TWO from Bradford has told how a weight loss goal turned into an addiction for charity challenges.

It all started in 2015 when Ashraf Wallace, who lives in Odsal, stood in front of the mirror at 19 stone and vowed to get his health back.

He had fallen into unhealthy habits, drinking cola with breakfast, lunch and dinner and sitting for long periods of time in front of the TV with share bag sized crisps.

After signing up for the Bradford 10k in 2015, he began to run more and more frequently, channelling his efforts into fundraising for important causes.

To date Bradford’s own marathon man has collected more than £17,500 for Penny Appeal, having completed the London marathon and now pacing the pavements at least three times a week.

Ash told the Telegraph & Argus: "One of the reasons I lost the weight was to make sure when my kids have kids I'm still around.

"I've just been running three times a week.

"It's the peace and just being able to be on your own. It's really helped myself to make sure I have a clear mind. I find if I don't go I'm disappointed in myself.

"It becomes a bit of an addiction."

But after hearing his next race, the Berlin Marathon, was cancelled due to the pandemic, Ash set himself the task of running 260k over the Ramadan period while fasting.

Ash would go running three hours before he could eat, thinking of those in poverty who would have to walk for miles in the heat just for fresh water or food.

Fasting from 4am every morning, he battled exhaustion and dehydration.

Ash said he would drink bottles of water and enjoy a bowl of cereal before the fast began in the early hours.

Ash said: "We are so lucky to have a home, a family, and enough food and water. It’s only right that if you are able to, you do good for other people.

"What I go through on these runs doesn’t even come close to what people living in poverty have to deal with on a daily basis. If I can help them, then all of this is worthwhile."

Ash hit the target of £6,000 days before finishing the challenge.

The funds will be going to Penny Appeal’s, a global emergency response initiative to help people in crisis. This includes people fleeing war and conflict, victims of natural disaster, and displaced people and refugees across the world and at home in the UK.

To donate, you can visit the Just Giving page by searching, t.ly/08Df

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