Living room runner Asif Amirat tops Strava distance challenge – BBC News

Living room runner Asif Amirat tops Strava distance challenge  BBC News


Image copyright Asif Amirat
Image caption Asif Amirat has been running circuits of his coffee table since April

A man who has been running daily half-marathons around the living room of his terraced house has topped tracker app Strava’s UK monthly distance challenge.

Asif Amirat clocked 832 miles (1,340km) across 61 runs in May, many of which he completed while fasting for Ramadan.

The 34-year-old from Manchester, who is running to raise money for “NHS superheroes”, admitted he got “dizzy at first, but that’s stopped now”.

He said he is now doing full marathons and is on track to run 100 in 100 days.

Image copyright Asif Amirat/Strava
Image caption Mr Amirat uses his smart watch to track his run on the app

Mr Amirat, who streams his runs live on Facebook, said he began running in the house in April because of the “strict lockdown rules” which only allowed for an hour’s exercise outside.

The father of four-month-old twins said he chose the living room because it was the biggest room in his house and decided doing circuits of the coffee table would work.

He said his wife “did wonder what I was doing at first”, adding: “People still don’t believe me when I tell them.”

The IT engineer fits the runs around his job, which he has also been doing from his living room during lockdown, and now runs for about three hours in the morning, during his hour-long lunch break and for two-and-a-half hours in the evening in “just my socks, because it’s much more comfortable”.

Image copyright Asif Amirat
Image caption Asif Amirat was inspired to help the NHS after seeing the care his premature daughters received

Mr Amirat used his smart watch to log his efforts in the app, which is used by thousands of runners to track the distance they run, and found himself top of the UK table and ranked 14th in the world in May.

However, he said topping the table was not his aim and he had simply not wanted “to just sit around watching box sets during lockdown”.

“I wanted to do something worthwhile to thank our amazing healthcare workers [as] I know first hand the amazing work they do.”

Mr Amirat’s daughters Sophia and Sarah were born two months early at North Manchester General Hospital in January.

“They had to be kept in the hospital for quite some time until they were allowed home,” he said.

“The nurses and doctors looked after the girls as if they were their own children.

“They are complete lifesavers and deserve all the help they can get.”

Mr Amirat, who has already raised more than £2,000 for NHS Charities Together, said he now aims to complete a “virtual tour” of Britain by the end of July.

As of 2 June, he has completed 426,185 laps of his coffee table.