Please could you tell us a little bit about the race you recently completed through Jordan?
Ultra X Jordan (previously called the Wadi Rum Ultra) takes participants through the land of Lawrence of Arabia. The mystical course takes competitors through historic sites, into dramatic Wadis and over magnificent sand dunes. Wadi Rum’s nickname is ‘the valley of the moon’ and during this run, you understand why. Its landscape, characterized by unique towering rock formations truly blow you away, as does the challenge. As locations go, this place is unrivalled in its beauty.
Taking on a multi-day ultra in a far-flung corner of the earth is one of the greatest experiences someone can do. The sense of achievement you feel after grinding through each day, and the camaraderie that you build with your fellow competitors in a desert, jungle or mountain camp makes this series truly unique.
I loved everything about it! I was happy to step out of my comfort zone. I realized that things don’t have to be perfect all the time and that I just needed to adapt, which I did better than I expected. I loved the fact that I was fully disconnected from the outside world, it gave me some time to distress. I enjoyed the race itself and the fact that my mind was in control, which was a real eye-opener for me. The body was just a tool, my mind was actually the one that was racing.
What inspired you to take part in it?
This was my first ultramarathon. I never actually thought that I was a good runner until I joined InnerFight; the CrossFit box where I train. Eleven months ago, I ran my first marathon with Marcus Smith, the founder of InnerFight - he’s a living legend who ran 30 marathons in 30 days and just recently ran 207km in 24 hours over 400M Track.
It’s been on my mind for a few years now because I wanted to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. I’m someone who appreciates luxury and living in Dubai, you get so used to a certain standard of living so to put me in the middle of the desert without the basic requirements of comfort was already challenging and on top of it having to run 250km, it became a totally different story. A few of my teammates signed up for Ultra X Jordan, so I thought that no better opportunity would come for me to jump into.
Running an ultramarathon is a lot like life - there are ups and downs. There will be many times during the run where you will want to give up and quit and there will also be times when you’re feeling on top of the world. Remember, it’s a long race so a setback doesn’t mean that you can’t get to the finish line. A message that I would like to share with everyone around the world is that they’re running their own Ultra and the only way to win is to keep fighting, pushing and moving forward. Always remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In the race, qualified for the Ultra X World Championship. Please could you tell us what that means to you, and what your next steps will be?
I’m very happy to have qualified for Ultra X World Championship. Having achieved this from the first attempt feels just amazing and I’m definitely going to make the most of it. Being coached by Marcus Smith, I get back into the Ultra training starting January 2020. I trust Marcus and his training method and approach, needless to say it paid back for me from my first Ultramarathon! I guess he’ll fit in one Ultramarathon or more before the Championship to ensure I am ready for the big race where he’ll also be competing as he qualified for it too.
Please could you tell us a little bit about your role at EIDEAL?
I am the Founder and Managing Director of EIDEAL. The brand was inspired by my first-hand experience in the industry. After working as a successful hair stylist, I majored in Business Management where I learned to combine my artistic and creative sense with entrepreneurial flair and business acumen. I built the brand from scratch with the aim of providing the industry with ground-breaking products. In 2010, I moved to Dubai, to further expand the brand.
Since its inception, I have created and introduced several hot hair tools to the market. I have also brought several of the hair industry’s most acclaimed brands to the Middle East market, including Davines and Amazon Keratin.
I work closely with my Salon Partners to ensure that the EIDEAL brand portfolio to them meet their needs. Aside from offering products and tools, I also support them in growing their business and helping it to reach new heights. This was the aim behind the establishment of the EIDEAL-Santi Business Leadership Programme. Run in collaboration with business mentor, Susie Santiago, it offered salon managers and owners the chance to develop themselves on the business side of running a salon.
What have been your career highlights so far?
The biggest highlight for me has been the acclaim that EIDEAL hair tools have received from celebrity stylists such as Jen Atkin (who regularly styles Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner to name but two) and Sebastian Bascle (Claudia Schiffer’s Hairstylist), as well as others around the world.
How does it feel to have celebrities such as the Hadids and Kendall Jenner use your products?
It’s rewarding, especially knowing how selective they are and the access they have to the industry’s best. By choosing EIDEAL hair tools, it confirms that we have been successful in our mission, that is to be a brand defined by innovation, and one which goes the extra mile to offer the best hot hair tools available in the market today.
What can fans expect in 2020 from the label?
In 2020, we're aiming to take the initiative in leading a Sustainable ethos amongst the Middle East Hairdressing industry and we would like to invite our Salon Partners to be part of it. We want to give back and make a difference while we can. This is in tune with my personal belief, which is the reason I ran for JustWorld during the Ultra X Jordan.
For more information, visit eideal.com