Two Oldham men have reached the halfway point on their epic mission to run 10km every day for a whole year to raise funds for Gaza.

Afruz Miah BEM, 50, embarked on the gruelling challenge with Monwar Hussain who is 39, earlier this year.

They started their campaign, Miles4Humanity, on January 1 and so far, have run 3300km combined.

Afruz’s initial aim was to support Monwar by occasionally joining him on his daily runs. He changed his plans and pledged to run for the whole year with Monwar.

He is known as the ‘Running Man’ after he ran 313km from Oldham to London during Ramadan and raised £150k. Over the past three years, with the help of the community, he has collected a staggering £2million for the charity Global Relief Trust.

The challenge is to run for 366 consecutive days equalling the distance from the UK to the besieged Gaza Strip.

Afruz said: “After starting on the mission, I realised how gruelling the campaign would be and how much commitment is needed. We run every single day without resting. The actual run takes an hour.”

He said he had wanted to quit, but realised Monwar wouldn’t be able to keep running on his own as the pair motivate and encourage each other.

“I didn’t realise what a challenge it would be to get mentally and physically ready every day, regardless of our plans and family life.

“To date we have raised over £90,000, but we want to raise much more for Gaza. We aim to raise £500k in total. We wish to thank all our donors and sponsors. We have had to put everything on the back burner to concentrate on this year-long challenge.

“There is no way for anyone to complete a mission like this on their own. Now I know how difficult it is I will never attempt a task like this again.”

They both want to support the people of Gaza. They say this issue is not a Muslim issue, but a humanitarian one. They have received support of people from different faith communities. Members of the Jewish community have been in touch and offered their support.

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The duo have been invited to run in Luton, Bradford, Manchester and other locations.

Afruz said: “As far as I know, no one has attempted a mission like this one. I sometimes feel like ‘What have I got myself into?’ But because we are working as a team and people sometimes join us, we keep going.”

He added: “It is stressful as it is not only a physical challenge but a mental one. I feel a lot of aches and pains.

“We are taking things day by day and try to recover as best as we can. We run the equivalent of two marathons a week.

“We also raise money for local foodbanks and schools where I deliver talks about how children can embed charitable thinking."

Monwar, who works as a taxi driver, said: “When you think about the mission and how much hard work is involved you can understand how tough it is. Getting enough rest and the little sleep we can fit in is vital.

“I feel like quitting before every run and have self-doubt such as ‘Can I do the run today?’ Once you’re 15 minutes into the run however, it becomes easy. Running is 90 percent mental exertion although sometimes your heart rate can go upto 180bpm.

“We can’t stop while the genocide in Gaza continues. We see images every day, and we know what’s happening. We can’t slow down or stop now with everything that is going on.”

Afruz said he wants to hand over the baton to Monwar to become the ‘Marathon Man’ of Oldham. But Monwar said no one can take over from Afruz as he is a “giant in endurance running” from the Muslim community.

Monwar has managed to run a marathon and two half marathons alongside Miles4Humanity.

He added: “We underestimated the challenge, but we must stay positive. Some runs are better than others as we encourage and push each other.

 “I’ve run multiple half marathons and full marathons, and I have even walked to Bradford. But this is by far harder than anything I have done before.”