Running a 5K while fasting: how one US group raises money for charity

Washington running group is raising money for United Muslim Relief

At sunset one evening on Washington’s National Mall, a group of runners wraps up a 5K.

They are handed bottles of water as they finish, but none open these just yet – they are all fasting for Ramadan and it’s still too early for iftar.

The runners were taking part in Fasting 5K, an event that raises money for charity across the US and Canada during the holy month.

“In the month of Ramadan, [people] really want to do something good but also the younger generation wants to also feel like they can still exercise and do something,” co-founder Farhaan Razi tells The National.

“So, this kind of married the two ideas together.”

The initiative began in 2013, when Mr Razi and his friends in Boston raised money for a local charity. As it expanded, different city chapters partnered with new local and international charities.

This year, the Washington chapter has chosen to work with United Muslim Relief (UMR) to provide food to Muslims in the area that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Washington group has had up to 100 members participate in the past, but because of Covid-19, this year's event was smaller, with about 35 completing the recent 5K.

Soon after sunset, the fasting joggers pray and then break their fast together with dates and takeout food on the Mall.

Updated: May 5, 2021 09:17 AM

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