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Posted 28/12/2017 3:04:02 PM by Carollyne Wood

Arif used to run full marathons quite often. The last one he ran was in Chicago in 1997. He stopped running long distances to give his body a break and pursued other activities such as organized sports. About four years ago, Arif started feeling more stressed at work and was going through a tough time in his personal life. Support from his family and friends helped get him through this period but it was his return to running that really changed his life. He exclaims, “I don’t know what it is about running, it gives you time to think and you start feeling better from a health perspective. It also has a positive impact on your mind. Running really helped me deal with my life situations.”

When Arif started running again, he was feeling more confident in himself and saw the positive impact on his mental well-being. He decided to make it a little more motivating and set a personal challenge for himself to run twelve half marathons in a year. To make it even more interesting, Arif has chosen races all over the world and is even raising donations for a local charity for each race.

Arif Jaffer with Dallas from the YMCA Training Employment and Immigrant Services teamThis past November, Arif ran the Fall Classic Run, a half marathon at UBC, and chose the YMCA of Greater Vancouver as his charity. Arif raised almost $500 for the YMCA in less than one week. When asked why he chose the YMCA, Arif explains it’s because of the work the YMCA does for children and youth. “I am passionate about helping children. It’s unbelievable the suffering some children have to go through and anything I can do to help is a big thing for me.”

To date, Arif has ran eight out of twelve half marathons. He ran a few races in London, England where he resides as well as other cities around England, and has also travelled to Chicago, Vancouver and Dubai. His next race will be in Spain this coming February followed by his final race in Italy in March.

“There are ups and downs in this journey and when I am in the moment, I usually don’t think I can complete the race. But I feel great and motivated after when I do.”

Feeling inspired?

The 2018 BMO Marathon is coming up on May 6 and registration is now open! Sign up as a charity runner for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and receive 35% off your registration fees. Whether you are brand new to running or are a seasoned competitor – there is something for you. Sign up for a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 8 km, Relay or even a 2.5 km Kids Run for 5-12 year olds.


About Carollyne Wood

Carollyne enjoys exploring the Vancouver food scene and getting outside with her dog Lucy. Carollyne is a Marketing and Communications Manager for the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.

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