BAHRAIN’S first female non-professional runner qualified for the 2018 Boston Marathon taking place today.
To qualify for the 122nd Boston Marathon, runners must meet time standards for a full certified marathon which correspond to age and gender.
“I train twice a day, in the early morning before my children wake up and later on in the evening after I put my children to sleep,” said May Haji.
She was speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of her preparations for the 2018 Boston Marathon.
“I am currently training for the Boston Marathon which I qualified for through my participation in the Barcelona Marathon in March 2017,” she said.
“I ran the 42.2 kilometres in three hours and 36 minutes scoring a Bahraini marathon record for women,” she added.
“This year was the hardest year to qyalify for the Boston Marathon because you needed to beat the qualifying time by three minutes or more, so not everyone was able to particpate,” she said.
Haji, of Zain Racing, Zain Bahrain’s in-house team, has secured second places in both Bahrain and GCC categories at the Ironman 70.3 Bahrain – Middle East Championship.
She started running in April 2012 after she gave birth to her first daughter, who is now 8.
She plans to focus on triathlon in the coming year as soon as she is done with the Boston Marathon.
She runs an average of 70 kilometres per week and dedicates the weekend for a longer run.
Haji is the first Bahraini woman to qualify for the Boston Marathon in the age grouper category of 35 – 39.
“I would like to send a message to all women in Bahrain that it is never too late to start running and being active,” she said.
Fellow runner, Phillip Solarski, also trains twice a day on average as part of his preparation for the 2018 Boston Marathon.
Solarski has participated in six marathons, three in Bahrain in 2013 2017 and 2018, followed by two in Dubai in 2015 and 2017, and one in London in 2016 which was his best marathon.
“I ran in my home city London and I also beat my target of running the full marathon in under three hours,” he said.