Meet our Marathoners for 2014
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is less than five months away, and Apna Ghar is thrilled to have two runners racing and raising money for us. One is a veteran marathoner in his 50s, the other a 32-year-old newlywed who has never run a marathon. Here’s why they’re doing it and how you can support them.
Mohan Iyer, 53
Chief information officer (CIO) for Mesirow Financial
Married with two sons
From: Baroda, India (moved to U.S. in early 1990s)
Marathons run: 40, and one of them was an ultra-marathon of 35 miles; he has run the Chicago marathon four times
Total races run: 74 (see the list here)
Running schedule: Mohan has run one full marathon every month for the last 3 years. This year, his goal is to run 14 marathons (14 in 2014). So far, he’s done six, including Boston, and before the Chicago marathon, he will have traveled to Alaska, Switzerland, Iceland, Sioux Falls, Omaha and Portland for marathons (the Switzerland race is an ultra-marathon of 48.5 miles). He also runs frequent half-marathons.
Running for: Six years
Why did you start running? “A combination of mid-life crisis and motivation from my doctor.”
Why run for Apna Ghar? “I was looking for a charity to run for, and the name jumped out at me. I didn’t expect to see a Hindi name, and I know exactly what Apna Ghar means. There are very few causes like this, taking care of immigrant women and fighting domestic violence.”
Donate to Mohan and Apna Ghar
Kunal Shah, 32
Senior consultant, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
From: Born in Boston, grew up in Mumbai, moved to the United States to attend Indiana University; lived in Chicago for five years and then moved to London for three years, moved back to Chicago last year
Marathons run: None, though Kunal and his wife, Leslie, trained for the 2012 New York Marathon that was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy
Running schedule: Kunal doesn’t have much race experience, but he has run long distances, often of between 12 and 15 miles, for many years for exercise
Marathon strategy: Start with “boot camp” at the gym in the hopes of losing at least 5 or 6 pounds, then train with the Chicago Area Runners Association
Running with the wife: Kunal and Leslie, who married last June, will run the race side-by-side; Leslie is raising money for the Big Shoulders Fund, which supports Catholic schools in Chicago
Why run for Apna Ghar? “Although I was born in and am a citizen of the U.S., I identify closely with our immigrant population, as I too grew up in India and am in large part an immigrant myself. Of the immigrant population here in the U.S., there is large percentage that is less fortunate than me. It is the children within this subsection that regrettably don’t have the same opportunities and benefits that I was lucky enough to receive that I would like to raise money for and represent in this marathon.”
Donate to Kunal and Apna Ghar
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