Ala Beydoun – The Runaway Bride

“Running has given me life with all means! It’s my time for me. It’s the only place where I find myself”
Running has given Ala a new understanding of life, and a mean to give back.

Ala has been running for 15 years now. She wears her pink tutu and runs. Her family and friends call her the runaway bride as she runs long distances all over the world.

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Raised in Baltimore-US Ala developed a love for Lebanon as well. All the way from the USA Ala supports the “Beirut Marathon” races by dedicating some of her runs for Lebanon among her other causes.
Having a dad Marathoner pushed Ala’s training runs to an average of 180km per month!
In the Month of May Ala ran for Children Cancer Awareness, pledging the runs for Taylor; a toddler battling neuroblastoma cancer and helped her fight it like a heroine,
Taylor is now cancer free!
Ala also ran for another toddler named Joshua who was battling eye cancer and now he’s cancer free!
“Through a common pledge platform and increased donations participants were asked to log in their run miles and each mile was matched with  certain amount that goes directly to funding the children cancer research and treatments . I honestly wish we can have a similar platform in the Arab World” says Ala Beydoun

From the hilly tracks to the muddy ones, Ala has been through all kinds of races.
The Dead2Red Relay Race was held on March 13-14,2014 we were 10 runners and I was the only female runner..we started running March 13th at 4:00pm till the next day March 14th non stop! Yes I swear NON STOP! I witnessed dawn and dusk..foxes, dogs, wild animals..it was quite challenging because I have Cynophobia but I found in me strength I never knew I had and was able to continue all the way finishing strong in19h 30 mins.. it was such a life changing experience”

Ala reached out to us through the Beirut Marathon Facebook page “I saw the forward movement and women Race posts. I felt so proud of this initiative to dedicate a running event in Lebanon for Women, it must be such a rewarding experience to partake in such event”

Ala’s future running projects do not exclude Lebanon as a destination “I hope I’ll get to run a race in Lebanon, I will dedicate it to women empowerment through sports, and through running specifically. Lebanese Women are unstoppable! They’re strong, resilient and successful and have all the right to be heard”

Running gives people a chance to become the best they can be in Life, it also gives people a chance to give back to the community and help save lives.

Would you give Running a chance?

A Thousand Kilometers for a Cause

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       On March 30, Kim Seung-hun donated $1,000 to UNHCR and asked them to use the money for Syrian refugees living in Lebanon.

Who is he and what’s his story?

It all started last year after seeing Syrian children in Lebanon living under terrible conditions. “In Lebanon, I saw two children begging for food in a fast-food restaurant. I threw away my leftovers. Then, the kids took food out from the trash can and ate it. I was stunned,” the feeling of that day was not just sadness. The kids made me feel awful.” – Kim Seung-hun “These children also reminded me of Koreans during the 1950-53 Korean War, who used to beg American soldiers for money.” Kim wanted for children to go back to their normal lives, so he looked for something useful to do for Syrian refugees.

Kim decided to run a distance of 1,000 kilometers and he promised to donate one dollar for every kilometer he ran. And so he did, Kim achieved his goal and donated the money to the UNHCR. Kim came up with the “Give+Runner” program, dedicated for all refugees. Those who do not want to run can contribute to the project by donating money when runners fulfill their own goals.

On Nov 9 Kim will run the Banque Du Liban Beirut marathon with hope and faith that running will make a CHANGE.

 

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BEIRUT’s WOMEN RACE 2014: IN PHOTOS

On May 4, 2014 Women from all ages and all walks of life came together with joy to do what women do most: bring life forward.

The second edition of the ” Beirut Marathon Women Race” was a special one as men were invited to join the 5K Race to support women by running in solidarity in an event that carries their name. The atmosphere was festive and strong at the same time, and the city streets filled with determined women running each for her own reason. Some ran for fitness, some for fun, some for one of the 61 official causes, some for the challenge itself. May 4 portrayed an image of the beautiful world we wish we could create every day — of women feeling empowered and happy and of men feeling supportive and positive.

We are bringing you some of the beautiful moments captured that day:

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ABOVE: Causes and Messages were lifted all over Beirut Streets

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COLORS: The Start of the 10K all Women Challenge- Beirut Marathon Women Race 2014

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POSSIBLE: Aregu Abate- works as a housekeeper in Beirut- breaks the course record at 41:06 .”She ran for all the nannies, and housemaids, and cleaning ladies, showing that change is possible.” 

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FRIENDSHIP: Rita- on her wheels- and Liliane- a blind runner- arriving at the finish of the 10K women Challenge

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FORWARD: Men in pink showing the ” forward sign” in support of the running forward women Movement

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AWARENESS: A participant advocating for his many causes in Life

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RUN:Somewhere on the course, There was some fierce competition happening

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SAFETY: Ladies on their pink harleys acting as safety wave before race start

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 READY: The Forward sign done by thousands of runners before the start

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SMILE: “You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, If you just smile.”

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Basics: She Ran the 10K on burning asphalt (more than 34 degrees) all the way to the finish line

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MESSAGE: He ran in pink with a BiB that says ” Je t’aime maman” ; I love you mom

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NADINE: More than 50 friends and family members ran with and for Nadine ( the one in the cyan hat), a cancer Fighter who is undergoing chemotherapy sessions

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Nadine’s Friends and family

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CHEER: Because you know you can Run it all the way, all you need to is do it

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WIN: Reach the Finish Line, Set a new Goal

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EVERYWHERE: See The forward, know the Forward, Show your Forward

 

I run on purpose



Zena had it tough. Inspired by her tragedies her feet learned to run for miracles. Her perspective on life grew more real. Her strength, packed all together like infinite sand particles making up a shore of power open for everyone to explore. Zena Mhanna, an anonymous name to most of us, but history knows who she is, it cannot but recognize her talent, as it will mark their pages once again.

 

How do you get over being hurt as a child and abandoned by your father? And then after you get over it, how do you get over an almost fatal car accident? Try getting over your condition while your mother is fighting breast cancer; now that’s a hard one!

How does one cope let alone move out from these horrible situations he is in? The answer to these rather complex situations is simple. You do what Zena did.

 

As a child, Zena poured her sadness into activities her dear mother enrolled her in. From Basketball to swimming to dancing Zena was an active child trying to be content with what she had. But everything she had was being stripped away from her.

Little Zena opened her eyes to the sight of her father leaving. She lost her father but it was a minor loss, bigger losses were on their way.

Next door lived a merciless pathetic neighbor. Zena was one of his frequent victims who were armed with nothing. It was not so hard hurting a hopeless kid armed with nothing.

This was not going to bring her down, Zena was a believer in life and she was not going to let anything get between her and her faith in life. And so Zena moved on, only when she moved on she was a stronger Zena, stronger because of her wisdom which she gained along her losses.

Zena made it a point to stand strong no matter what happened and stand strong she did.

 

It was a static day so static nothing could happen. But little did Zena know that the silence was Krakatoa’s peace before the big eruption. And just as unexpectedly Zena’s life got shattered into pieces of flesh and drops of blood placing her life on an abyss of darkness. Zena stood there, she dove into the sky where all the light was. It was a smart move for her to point towards the opposite direction of the darkness, and it only made sense that there, there would be light.

After getting into an almost fatal car accident, Zena’s soul was struggling for two months as she entered a coma. After 2 months of struggling, her soul was victorious as it rose from the biological handicaps and breathed life into Zena’s physical being.

Zena was wide awake.

With Zena submerging to life again BIG decisions decided to come out as well. First thing to do was to make peace with everything. In order to do that Zena needed therapy, and what better therapy than running? Zena knew how to start picking up what was left of her, but she knew best how to recreate herself.

As she steps into recovery her mother steps into her own abyss of breast cancer. It was hard alone remembering how to live after 2 months of having your life on hold, it was even harder taken a step forward when certain situations are dragging you backwards and putting you down, pointing your face to the abyss and giving you a kick from the back, it was almost impossible to fly away from situations that are certain to lead to physiological destruction. But we all know that impossible is nothing but infinite possibilities. So she picks one, and decides that her legs will be her wings and they will fly her away miraculously as she dives into darkness unintentionally.

Intentionally, she ran. Intentionally she ran over all that is dark and negative and painful in her life. As she picked up running her mother picked up her vibes and started fighting her cancerous cells with her daughter’s virtual strength. And it was real; things were getting better when Zena started getting better. Zena’s mother became a survivor instead of a victim. A cancer survivor.

 

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Being the ambitious soul she is, Zena started setting running goals, to achieve her first running goal Zena runs and trains five times a week now.

 

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Zena’s goal is to run her heart out in the 5k women’s race, and with the special feet she has it is worth watching her cross the finish line on May 4 2014, and the date is worth remembering as it projects the cause of Zena among others.

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Update : 

Zena Ran the 5k course in 35 min

She is planning to double her training and become an elite runner

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* Zena with her mother after she ran the 5k, Zena’s mother’s first outing in the sun since she stopped Chemo.

 

Daniel Ludwig – The Man With The Big Heart

Daniel Ludwig founder of crowd running is a believer in peace. Inspired by May El Khalil’s TED talk, Daniel came all the way from London to support the Beirut marathon.

Daniel’s running passion sprung from a very vulnerable state as he experienced being a homeless person 6 years ago. When he had nothing, Daniel had his legs, when he had no one to depend on, Daniel had running. Daniel then formed “crowd running”, in order to help grow the running community by providing a running platform to all people internationally.

Daniel, the man with the big heart sits with the Beirut marathon team for a brief interview. Enjoy getting to know this tender soul.

Tala Ghalayini – How Her Story with Running Began

Tala Ghalayini represents one of the comforts running brings. Along with the sound mind and built physique, running acts as an escape from one’s problems into a problem free world.

By shifting from binging to running, Tala found that her emotional, her weight problems, and the guilt associated with all her insecurities disappeared.

Tala is a nutritionist, and now a runner, she has a story that most of us will relate to. Check out how Tala’s story with running began.

Paul Mark – The Rising Marathon Runner

Paul Mark is a rising athlete, with his passion for running, Paul has participated in more than one marathon at a very young age. One of the youngest marathon runners, Paul runs the Banque Du Liban Beirut Marathon at the age of 16. Care to put a face to this brave soul? Watch this brief interview and meet Paul, the rising marathon runner.