A Different Kind of Fitness RunSawa Until All the Pieces Fit

Running for a cause was a soul enriching experience for four ladies who challenged themselves and ran an ultra-marathon to raise awareness about autism and help raise funds for the Lebanese Autism Society (LAS).

RunSawa is a philanthropic initiative by four women who aimed to run in an ultra-marathon of 230 Km from the northern to the southern coastline over a period of seven days to create awareness about autism and raise educational funds for LAS. “I’m a regular runner. And running for a cause added more passion to this practice. When I knew that LAS was at a cost deficit I realized that the future of certain children was at risk. It was then, that I decided to take action,” said Sandra Gharghour, organizer of “RunSawa”. It is also important to note that this is the first year the RunSawa team have challenged themselves in order to reach a certain goal for a chosen NGO. 

Every year, RunSawa will be challenging themselves to new heights, and thus to new perspectives. “We reached our expectations big time. I got to do what I love while making people benefit from it at the same time,” added Houry Sofian, one of RunSawa members.

RUNSAWA 2016

Grace Madi, Sandra Gharghour, Nadine Kalot and Houry Sofian were the four women who joined forces and took this challenge. Not only did their togetherness motivate them (sawa in Arabic means together) but their collective incentive for dedicating physical effort to support the cause of helping those with autism was the essence of their challenge. “We are a team that is very perseverant. And we have been running for four years with the Inter-Lebanon Road Running and Athletics Club,” said the team.

When asked how physically challenging the run was, Nadine Kalot, professional athlete said, “In fact running competitively in a marathon every six months at a rather high intensity is much more challenging than running a sub-marathon distance daily but at a lower intensity. Preparing to run marathon (42.195km) at a speed of 13km/hr helped me run a daily average of 30km at a speed of 10km/hr.”

Concerning the nutritional program, Houry Sofian mentioned, “Since we were running at a fat burning pace of 6min/km we needed to associate fat into our diet. Evidently carbs and proteins are important as well for glycogen as well as muscle recovery.

WHAT IS AUTISM?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how one communicates and relates to others, and to the respective surrounding environment. Many people with autism do not look disabled…the disability is often called a “hidden disability” so it is important to note that any of us may encounter a person diagnosed with autism, daily.  

There is no cure for autism but certain interventions may be helpful. Autistic individuals need lifelong specialist support and the cost of education for one child with autism is $12,000. RunSawa has secured a total of S140, 000 to cover the Lebanese Autism Society’s needs. 

“The easiest way to help is to give money. But it is when you give of yourself that you truly give"

It is important to shed light on this underrated initiative and promote the idea of “sawa” or togetherness- in correlation with making the world a better place. Housewives, entrepreneurs, managers, or students, the five women are also elite athletes, podium winners, passionate amateurs and humanitarian spirits. One of their slogans says it all: “LOVE NEEDS NO WORDS – Raising awareness for Autism”. “The easiest way to help is to give money. But it is when you give of yourself that you truly give. I had to leave my children and family for eight days, and I had to endure a lot of fatigue with the aim of saving other kids. With determination, perseverance, and a mindset to help children in need, our goal was achieved,” said Sandra Gharghour.

 Autistic people often feel like they do not fit. They feel as if they do not have a HOME. But when there is love, the puzzle pieces seem to fit genuinely.

To donate: https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/sawaforautism Or You can donate locally in Collège du Sacré-Coeur, Gemmayzé, Beirut, Lebanon Facebook: Runsawa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is important to shed light on this underrated initiative and promote the idea of “sawa” or togetherness- in correlation with making the world a better place. Housewives, entrepreneurs, managers, or students, the five women are also elite athletes, podium winners, passionate amateurs and humanitarian spirits. One of their slogans says it all: “LOVE NEEDS NO WORDS

– Raising awareness for Autism” “The easiest way to help is to give money. But it is when you give of yourself that you truly give. I had to leave my children and family for eight days, and I had to endure a lot of fatigue

 

with the aim of saving other kids. With determination, perseverance, and a mindset to help children in need, our goal was achieved,” said Sandra Gharghour.

 

Autistic people often feel like they do not fit. They feel as if they do not have a HOME. But when there is love, the puzzle pieces seem to fit genuinely.

 

 

RunSawa team have challenged themselves in order to reach a certain goal for a chosen NGO. Every year, RunSawa will be challenging themselves to new heights, and thus to new perspectives. “We reached our expectations big time. I got to do what I love while making people benefit from it at the same time,” added Houry Sofian, one of RunSawa members.

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