Barwa Bank Employee to Attempt World Record for Marathon Grand Slam

Doha, February 05, 2013 - Barwa Bank, Qatar's fastest growing Shari’ah compliant banking service provider, is supporting Ziyad Rahim, its Head of Market Risk as he attempts to enter into the Guinness Book of World Records by completing the Marathon Grand Slam in the fastest time. 

The Grand Slam entails completing a marathon on all seven continents of the world and the North Pole.  The current record is 324 days and Ziyad is planning to complete the Grand Slam in only 44 days.  Last year, Ziyad became the first Qatari resident to complete a marathon on all seven continents.  In 2012, he also completed the 250km Marathon Des Sables, considered the toughest footrace on Earth, while raising awareness for Noma disease in West Africa.

The World Record attempt will begin in Antarctica on 25 February and conclude at the geographic North Pole on 9 April. In between the two events, Ziyad will participate in Punta Arenas Marathon in Chile on 28 February, Cyprus Marathon on 10 March, Los Angeles Marathon on 17 March, Auckland Marathon on 23 March, Cape Town Marathon on 30 March and the Dead Sea Marathon on 5 April.

As part of his attempt on the record, Ziyad will be raising awareness for Care Pakistan, a not-for-profit organization that provides free education for the poor in Pakistan.

Commenting on the challenge, Ziyad admits that it will be a tough ask to run eight marathons in less than eight weeks.  He thinks travelling as well as jet lag to be the biggest challenge in attempting this record.  Due to work and family commitments, most of his journeys will be over the weekend.  He went on to say, “The flying time including transits over the eight week period will be between 300 to 330 hours.  My trips to Los Angeles, Auckland, Cape Town and Cyprus are at the weekend. So, I will  be flying for 20 hours, run a marathon and immediately fly another 20 hours to get back to the office”.

The other challenge facing the long-distance runner is the constant variation in temperatures. Some of his races will take place in 30c heat while temperatures in Antarctica and the North Pole can drop to minus 50c. The North Pole marathon is the only marathon that is not run on land but on the frozen Arctic Ocean in extreme temperatures.

Steve Troop, CEO, Barwa Bank Group said: “We are all inspired by Ziyad and wish him all the very best in realising an achievement that very few can even hope to attempt. Ziyad is a truly outstanding athlete and his personal motivation, dedication and commitment to being the very best are the values that we, as a young organisation, aspire to at a corporate level. Barwa Bank encourages all our employees to take part in exercise, and we are launching a staff fitness program to help further promote a healthy life-style.”