Aisha Qamar

Ali on the Run Show Episode 280: Aisha Qamar, 3:02 Marathoner, Activist, & South Brooklyn Mutual Aid Volunteer

“I keep showing up so that people know that a Pakistani Muslim woman can be a marathoner. But just because I am there doesn’t mean the work is done.”

Aisha Qamar cares deeply about her community and the people around her. She earned her master’s in public health at Columbia University, and has used that degree to learn more about and to give back to people in need. She volunteers with South Brooklyn Mutual Aid, delivering food to her neighbors in New York City, and on this episode, Aisha explains how delivering supplies on the run has brought meaning back to her running during the pandemic. She talks about finding her people and making friends when she didn’t think she belonged in the running community, and she talks about being a Muslim woman, and explains what running looks like when she is fasting during Ramadan. Aisha is on the Global Womxn Run Collective steering committee, she runs a 3:02 marathon, and she is on a mission to make sure every runner knows that you do, in fact, belong.

What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Aisha’s take on the global pandemic, from someone with a master’s in public health (4:00)
  • Aisha talks about what her family was like growing up (8:40)
  • All about Aisha’s job, and her career path in healthcare (15:00)
  • Aisha shares her running story (23:30)
  • How Aisha found running friends, and how she went from a 3:53 marathon to a 3:02 (32:10)
  • On running the L.A. Marathon earlier this year (41:30)
  • Running with purpose (47:00)
  • How Aisha got involved with South Brooklyn Mutual Aid (51:25)
  • How Aisha sees her role in helping work toward more diversity and representation in running (1:02.00)
  • The role religion plays in Aisha’s life right now (1:05.00)

What we mention on this episode:

South Brooklyn Mutual Aid

Global Womxn Run Collective

Banker to the Poor

Mountains Beyond Mountains

“Food, Clothing, Shelter: These NYC Runners Are Helping Their Neighbors Survive,” by Cindy Kuzma for Runner’s World

Whitney Hu on Twitter @whitney_hu

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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