ASRA Club designed the t-shirts and medals for the The Big Half




Why a blossom is at the heart of our Big Half finisher designs

Creating The Big Half 2023 finisher medals and T-shirts

The Big Half is London’s community half marathon. It is both a festival of running and a celebration of the wonderful diversity of our capital city. In a series of features we meet some of the people who are helping to bring London’s unique identity to the event on Sunday 3 September. 

Sahra-Isha Muhammad-Jones is the founder of ASRA Club, a running club and community space placing Muslim women at the forefront of sports, wellness and sisterhood. The ASRA Club team has helped design the medals and T-shirts for The Big Half 2023.

Who are ASRA?

Our name ASRA derives from Al-Isra, a verse from the Qur’an which means ‘the night journey’. Our own journey is focused on encouraging more Muslim women to unlock their inner athlete and we want to do that by creating a safe and supporting environment for them to do so. 

That doesn’t just mean running. We are a running club, but we are more than that. We have inter-generational park walk and talks, we have Ramadan-focused programmes and community initiatives all year round. And we also run. Our belief is that, regardless of the reasons each of us run, we all run together. For us, it’s about cheering each other on and being there for one another. It is a sisterhood.

Our ethos, therefore, is very much aligned with The Big Half’s We Run As One campaign. So when we were asked to design the event’s medals and T-shirts it was a fantastic and exciting opportunity for us to explore what community looks like within running and beyond. 


The inspiration behind The Big Half medal and T-shirt designs

We have designed The Big Half and New Balance Big Relay medals and finisher T-shirts for this year’s event and our main design theme across them all is the concept of blossoming, which is a metaphor for the journey a runner goes through, from the moment they sign up to that wonderful feeling of crossing the Finish Line.

For The Big Half medal, we developed that into how one can blossom in their running journey and tied this with the core values shared within ASRA Club, which is to uphold faith, humility, discipline, and adaptability.

These values inspired the four unique symbols found across all of our designs as they are an essential part of blossoming as a runner and symbolise every runner leaving their footprints – both in literal term, but also more symbolically, by impacting those around them.

It then felt right to look to nature for design inspiration, as we not only relate to the harmony in the different rates at which plants grow, but also because, as a group, we have a shared love for running through natural spaces like parks.

Finally, we wanted to create as much movement and energy in the design as possible, as that's what brings us all together. So, we looked at the iconic route of The Big Half route for inspiration, with its twists and turns, and created a simplified set of parallel lines that symbolised this. These combined with the petal motifs and the set of three dashed lines give an overall sense of movement in the design. 

The Big Half t-shirt

The New Balance Big Relay medal design

For the New Balance Big Relay medal design, we were inspired by ASRA Club’s meaning as a night journey and the similarity with the event as another type of journey which brings together four runners with four different stories, each of whom conquers a unique section of the race. 

This prompted the question: ‘Can each medal be unique too?’ We then began to explore how to visually represent these differences on the medal's shape and design, merging four paths into one, symbolising individual journeys and footprints in the half marathon coming together.

Moving away from conventional medal designs, we then looked to explore We Run As One in more detail and the idea of advancing as a unified team. We wanted to visually articulate this concept of progress and unity, and chose the 'greater than' symbol for the medal's shape. When taken literally, it emphasises that we are ‘greater than’ our doubts and limits, signifying that our collective strength is greater when united. Metaphorically, it represents forward momentum as well as unwavering determination.

When these medals are interlocked, they form a larger emblem with the potential for continuous expansion. It is not limited to four pieces, and instead more journeys and stories can be added, highlighting the ongoing nature of our running journey. 

The Big Relay medals

Designing the finisher T-shirts

The finisher T-shirts for The Big Half and New Balance Big Relay mirror the medal designs and we have also made them long-sleeved for this year. As our club is by Muslim women for Muslim women, modesty is at the forefront of this and we wanted our community who take part in The Big Half to wear the finisher T-shirts on the day without needing to bring extra layers and feel represented wearing our designs. 

Overall, it has been beautiful seeing the process of our designs from beginning to end. A lot of thought and effort was put into the designs and it is a perfect blend of what ASRA Club encompasses and all the great things The Big Half and New Balance Big Relay represents. Both designs evoke feelings of community and togetherness while celebrating every runner’s individual journey.

ASRA Club women


  • Sahra-Isha Muhammad-Jones
  • Fatima Musa
  • Sagal Abdullahi
  • Maheer Khan
  • Fatima Zara Alarakha
  • Farzana Moid
  • Fatma Sadiq
  • Amaal Omar


Designing for The Big Half 2024

Are you creative? Are you passionate about physical activity? We’re looking to work with a new community group in 2024 to design The Big Half finisher t-shirts and medals, just like we did with ASRA this year.

If you’re involved in a running community and have a knack for creativity, please get in touch via this form