8 Jan

Young Hearts Run Free

As many of you will be aware, completing a marathon is no mean feat, now imagine completing two in three days - before the age of 12! Scots youngsters Zara Rahim (11) and Mekaal Rahim (9) have broken the record for the youngest female and male in the world to complete a full marathon in Antarctica – both completing the Magellan Marathon in Chile and the KGI Classic Marathon in Antarctica.

In Chile, Mekaal finished one second ahead of his sister with a time of 6:11:17, while in the well below freezing and snowy conditions in Antartica they both came home in 8:12:19.

Zara and Mekaal have been no strangers to long-distance from an early age – taking part since they were four-years-old. To date, they have completed three full marathons in Europe, South America and Antarctica. As well as this they have run half marathons in North America and Asia and are on track to complete the seven continents full marathons by April 2018, which would make them the youngest male and female in the world to complete the seven continents journey.

The family are based in Qatar, although spend two months in Scotland every year. Both children take part in local running, aquathon and triathlon events in their hometown and they have completed almost 100 long-distance events in 15 countries. In 2016 and 2017, they were part of the Southern Caribbean Challenge where they ran seven 10Ks and half marathons on six Caribbean Islands as well as one race on the cruise ship.

In the local athletics circuit, they regularly win 3k and 5k events in the junior categories as well as triathlons.

Both children say their love for running came from watching their parents take part in long-distance events all over the world. Their father, Ziyad Rahim, holds 10 Guinness world records in long-distance running and now his children have got their sights firmly set on breaking his records when they are older.

They finished 2017 with a race in Pretoria, South Africa and will begin 2018 with races in North America and Asia – completing their final continent, Australia in March or April.

Speaking of her pride, their mother Nadia said: "I am so proud of Zara and Mekaal. Doing a marathon is tough physically as well as mentally and they powered on through. At times you feel like you want to quit but they kept on going. They are an inspiration to me and I am amazed at their determination."