From 40 cigarettes a day to running a marathon

Mohamad Awad, a Danish OOB athlete, is a former big smoker, but just completed Milano Marathon in just under 3 hours and 15 minutes! We have asked him a few short questions:

First of all Mohamad, a big congratulations with your result at Milano Marathon. Tell us a bit about the day and how you experienced it?

The day started at 8am in a big park where the 7,500 runners were gathered.

I didn’t have a qualification time, so I had to start in the back of the field, which was a bit annoying.

Besides enjoying the actual run that would go past a lot of the city’s sights, I also had to use energy on getting through the field. A bit unnecessary use of energy. The weather was changing quite a bit, but in general it was perfect running weather. At around the half way mark, I had moved so much up in the field, that there was more space and then I could really focus. It was especially great running past San Siro (football stadion) and Casa Milan as I’m a big AC Milan fan.

I really hit the wall at around mile 23. I gathered the strenght to keep running, but was really close to choosing to walk.

To cross the finish line was a feeling that is very difficult to describe. Should I cry, yell or scream – of pain or because I made it. A lot of feelings all at once. Also a feeling of “I’m never doing this again”. 5 minutes later all my thoughts had changed completely.

It was the most awesome feeling getting though and I was high on the experience for a long time.

When did you start training more seriously and can you tell us a bit about your former lifestyle?

I quit smoking 2,5 years ago. I smoked up to 40 cigarettes per day.

In February of 2017 I was challenged to run the Copenhagen Half Marathon. For that reason I started to run 3-4 times per week. Now specific training at all, just 4-6 miles per trip.

I finished the half marathon in 1 hour and 33 minutes, which I was very satisfied with.


That race and training for it got me a bit addicted to run training and the atmosphere at the race. So I decided to finish a full marathon. I kept getting injured in my training (mostly football and lifting weights), which stopped me a bit.

When did you start training with OOB life?

Before I ever got around to finishing a full marathon, I decided I wanted to aim for an Ironman race. For that reason I started training with OOB life on the 1st of January 2019. Milano Marathon became a goal on the way to the Ironman race.

What advice would you give other people who are trying to change something in their life?

I often think about the following, when I challenging myself: “If other people can, then I can too! It’s not a shame to fail, but it’s a shame not to get back up and try again.”

And with those words, the OOB team would like to congratulate Mohamad on his race and good luck on the way to the Ironman race!

Nikolaj is responsible for all the marketing at OOB life. He has previously used OOB life himself to get ready for IRONMAN, marathons and ultra trail races.