Going the Distance

by BTM

Sun, 12 May 2024

Ahmed AlMutawa Bahraini long-distance runner

Ahmed AlMutawa, a 24-year-old Bahraini long-distance runner, has emerged as a beacon of inspiration and philanthropy in the running community. In an exclusive interview with Kristian Harrison, Ahmed delves into his personal journey, motivations and aspirations, shedding light on the challenges and triumphs that have defined his path.

Ahmed’s passion for running was ignited during his time living in Boston for three years, where he was captivated by the electrifying atmosphere surrounding the iconic Boston Marathon. This fascination eventually propelled him to take up running seriously in December 2022, with aspirations of tackling his first marathon by February 2023. 

However, Ahmed’s early foray into the world of long-distance running was marked by naivety. He candidly admits: “Looking back, it’s quite funny how naive I was thinking I can just pull up to a marathon and run it! The reality of the meticulous preparation and dedication required took a little while to dawn on me, but I was determined to succeed.” 

One of Ahmed’s most remarkable feats to date is his 67km run from Diyar Al Muharraq to Durrat Al Bahrain, a testament to his grit and endurance. Motivated by the desire to push his limits and challenge himself, Ahmed embarked on his daunting journey earlier this year. Reflecting on the experience, he shares: “All my training for the past two years got me to the point where I felt comfortable taking on such a challenge. I ran it in just over six hours and it really took a lot out of me. It was even more tiring than I ever imagined and worst of all, I was on my own for the entire run which looking back was a very bad call. Thankfully I was able to finish the run safely but if something was to go wrong and I had no one around to help, it was a pretty dangerous thing, so if I did again I definitely would seek some support.” 

Beyond his personal pursuits, Ahmed is deeply committed to giving back to his community. During Ramadan, he organised a charity drive for the Islamic Association, collecting donations of sports items for those in need. The initiative proved to be a resounding success, with him collecting 139 items of clothing and 36 pairs of shoes. 

Looking ahead, Ahmed’s ambitions encompass both personal achievements and inspiring others. He has his sights set on competing in international marathons later this year, and recently ticked off another major achievement by notching 100,000 steps in a day. Most proudly, he seeks to serve as a role model for aspiring runners, sharing his insights and experiences on his Instagram page @runningwithahmed to empower others on their own journeys. 

When asked for his sage advice rooted in his own experiences, he explains: “Go out on your first run, see how long you can go for and set that as your base. Patience is key and progress doesn’t happen overnight.” 

Despite his achievements, Ahmed remains acutely aware of the challenges facing runners in Bahrain, particularly concerning road safety. He advocates for the development of safer running environments, envisioning larger parks and even an indoor track to provide runners with alternative options. With his voice and platform, Ahmed strives to catalyse positive change and create a more inclusive and supportive running community while pursuing more charity initiatives. 

“Despite it being an individual hobby most of the time, I’d like to give a big shout out to all of my supporters, friends and family who push me to do better every day!” he concludes.