FOR DAD, AND ALL THOSE IN NEED
HAROON MOTA ‘After running the 2012 London Marathon I told myself I’d never run again – it was such a painful experience! But when my father, Hafiz Kasim Mota, was killed in a car crash in 2013, at just 57, I felt compelled to put my running shoes back on. Running helps me deal with his loss and, through fundraising, gives me a way to carry on his legacy by helping people in need. In honour of him I dedicate every mile, every step, towards goodness.
This year I have a lot of miles to run. God willing, in the three weeks before I
toe the line at London I’ll have run the Manchester, Paris and Boston marathons under the #running4dad banner, raising funds for a solar water and power station in Senegal that will supply needy communities. Through this challenge I also hope to show that Muslims are generous and contribute significantly towards society – so many news pages these days are dominated by negative stories about Muslims.
When I ran London in 2012 I was so disappointed that I didn't spot any of my family at the 18-mile mark, where we’d agreed they would be. Then, at mile 26, I saw my dad with a huge smile, and it gave me such a boost for that final stretch. A year later we lost him.
I’ll probably burst into tears when I go past that point this year and think of Dad. It’s still very raw for me. But the memories and tears will spur me to the finish. The sense of achievement will be very special, completing my fourth marathon in three weeks, and knowing I’ve raised £20,000 for this project in my father’s memory. He’d be so proud.’