Palestinian American Rush Darwish is leading a team of marathon runners this year in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, a 26.2 mile race through the city of Chicago. It’s a growing American tradition. An American Arab has won the marathon four times and still holds the record for the fastest run
By Ray Hanania
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon kicked off this morning in Chicago with some 40,000 runners on a 26.2 mile route that takes them through many of Chicago’s ethnic neighborhoods, from the north side to the south side to the west side.
The race this year will include a group of Palestinian marathon runners under the banner “Team Palestine” which is raising funds for the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and organized by marathon runner and television producer Rashad “Rush” Darwish.
“Team Palestine” is carrying on a tradition of Arabs entering the Bank of Chicago Marathon started by Moroccan runner Khalid Khannounchi in 1997.
Kannouhci is the only Arab to win the Bank of American Chicago Marathon setting two records, so far. He is the first runner to win the Chicago Marathon four times (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002), and he holds the Chicago Marathon record for finishing with the fastest time, 2:05:42 (1999). Click here for more info.
Don’t be surprised, Rush said, if one day another Arab wins the Chicago Marathon, but this time from Palestine.
Click here to read my feature story published at Al Jazeera English today in recognition of the efforts of these nearly 60 Palestinian American runners who are competing to showcase the cause of Palestine.
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