Pakistani Woman Runs in NY Marathon to Raise Funds for Quake Victims


New York: Sher-Bano Ali, a Pakistani Muslim woman residing in New York City, competed in the ING New York City Marathon on November 6 in an effort to raise her personal goal of $100K for the devastated earthquake victims in her native country. She had been preparing rigorously for the race under the keen direction of trainer Lisa Smith-Batchen, North America's top endurance athlete. Ali’s training included endurance-building long distance runs, cross-training, and weight training.
The New York City Marathon is widely known as the world's largest and most internationally recognized marathon. This year 30 nationalities and 35,000 runners participated in the race, which started at the Verrazanno Bridge in Staten Island, winded 26.2 miles through the five boroughs of New York City, and finished at 'Tavern on the Green' in Central Park.
Aggrieved by the death and destruction and compelled to assist her native homeland, Ali set out to do what she knows best – run a marathon. But the path to becoming a marathoner has not been easy for Ali. Witnessing her father die in her arms when she was just a youngster and later, in a freak accident, crushing all her toes. She has overcome a number of personal tragedies and even cultural challenges along the way. Sher-Bano has constantly pulled herself up whenever she was down by her mantra “Quitting is not an option”.
A role model for young women in Pakistan and in the Muslim world who are striving to attain equality and proclaim their rightful place in society, Ali works for a prestigious financial firm as a professional banker and runs marathons regularly. While the majority of women in Pakistan continue to live in cultural subjugation, Ali is driven by their position and is confident that Pakistanis living in US will match her commitment to finish the race by supporting her in reaching her goal to help the victims.
“In recent days, we have all seen stories of overwhelming suffering in Kashmir and of the crushing effects the earthquake has had on the lives of millions of people - from the youngest and most innocent to the elderly and most vulnerable. Please assist the earthquake relief effort by sponsoring my 'Running the City' on November 6, 2005," Sher-Bano Ali had requested before the marathon.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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