A VETERAN Bahrain-based marathon runner and a successful Ironman challenger is looking forward to running into the sunset as his three-decade career enters the twilight.
Mohammed Javed, from the southern Indian city of Mangalore, has been a running enthusiast all his life.
The 59-year-old, who has lived in Bahrain since the last 36 years, has successfully completed five Ironman events in three continents, four Half Ironman challenges and numerous marathons and half marathons in Bahrain and abroad.
Javed’s recent success was in the Middle East Ironman Challenge held in Bahrain earlier this months where he successfully completed the event in the 55-59 age group.
Javed is now focussed on competing in the Frankfurt Ironman on June 20, 2019, and then hang his boots and take up running for ‘pleasure at leisure’.
“I have been running since I was a four-year-old growing up in Mangalore. It was always a challenge … not to beat anyone but to test my own endurance,” said Javed as he dropped into the GDN offices in Sanad to show his proud medal collection, including his latest and proudest piece of metal - claimed after successfully completing the Middle East Ironman Challenge in Bahrain earlier this month.
“I did sprints and later 400m when in school in Mangalore, all barefoot as I could not afford sports shoes.
“But I had to drop out of school when I was in the seventh standard due to financial constraints,” said Javed.
But that did not stop the youngster from pursuing his three favourite hobbies - running, swimming and cycling, not necessarily in that order, according to Javed.
Javed came to Bahrain in the 80s to work as a driver at Crowne Plaza. He continued in that job for the next 26 years while at the same time taking part in Bahrain Road Runners’ events, including an Olympic triathlon and a sprint triathlon.
He is today with Pinetree’s valvet parking service department.
“It has been a long journey, a challenging one at every step as preparing for an Ironman event is not easy.
“You need a lot of money and time. I could find time to train but getting the money, for diet, nutrition, equipment, etc, etc, was the difficult part.
“But I am lucky. I have many friends, guardians and well-wishers who supported me right from the beginning. On top of the list is Isa Burashid, the HR manager at Mohammed Jalal and Sons Group.
“He always encouraged me and asked me to concentrate on training and leave the money part to him,” said Javed, whose routine since the last three decades has remained unchanged - get up at 3am and go out and practise … everyday irrespective of rain or shine.
“Members of the Bahrain Road Runners were another source of inspiration for me. They encouraged me right from the beginning and also raised funds so that I could travel abroad for international exposure,” added Javed.
“Royal Majesty Nutrition provided the vitamins which are vital for recovering after a major event.”
Now close to retirement, Javed has no regrets except for the fact that his soul is still willing to take part in more Ironman events but his body is not.
“Also the Bahrain weather is not ideal for training all round the year and at my age it is all the more difficult,” signed off Javed.