“Running can be a lonely sport – just you and the pavement, your legs against the road,” says 32-year-old Monica Sudra. On November 5, she’ll join more than 50,000 runners in the New York City Marathon. This endeavor will hardly be a lonely one, she’s taking CureSearch with her.
Monica is one of eight runners taking on the 26.2-mile trek as part of the CureSearch Challenge, which supports athletes as they pledge their physical efforts to fighting children’s cancer. To date, Monica has raised $1,862, which is approximately 74 percent of her $2,500 goal. To support Monica and make a donation to CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, please visit her fundraising page.
None of this is new to Monica though. In the last two years, the London native has completed three half marathons for various cancer charities in the United Kingdom. In 2016, she ran the London Marathon in support of Leukemia Care, which provides education and resources to blood cancer patients and their families.
“For me, running is more than a sport and a hobby. It has become my passion and fuel for life. And to be able to raise money for CureSearch, a charity that does so much to end children’s cancer by driving targeted and innovative research, is inspiring. I want to support the work they do.”
Childhood cancer is close to Monica’s heart. “I have known many children living and battling against different childhood cancers, and some of my dear family members are going through this,” says the pharmacist and pharmaceutical senior medical advisor. “It is devastating when you come to know of someone who is fighting a battle with cancer – even more so when that person is a child.”
The marathon brings more than one opportunity for Monica to raise awareness of this worthy cause. On Friday, November 3, Monica will represent the United Kingdom in the Parade of Nations to be held during the marathon’s opening ceremony. “I am so honored and humbled to be given this prestigious opportunity as a flag bearer, and the level of support and enthusiasm this has attracted has been a fantastic motivation for me.”
Not that Monica needs much more motivation. Her training regimen consists of regular personal training sessions at a local gym, running three times a week, and enjoying the occasional Zumba class. After completing last year’s London marathon, she’s run a 10K race (6.2 miles) every month to keep herself in shape. She adds that yoga has provided benefits beyond maintaining her stamina: “It also helps to keep me injury-free and strong enough to handle the volume of training I put my body through. Yoga is also great for stress busting and calming my mind.”
Twenty-four hours before she hits the New York City streets, Monica will prioritize keeping a calm mind and providing fuel for her body. “I’m doing all I can to keep my nerves at bay. A positive mental attitude is really important. From a diet perspective, I will have a high-carb, high-protein meal in the evening, like pasta. I go to bed early, and my marathon morning breakfast is usually a bowl of porridge, toast and jam, and a banana.”
She initially took on running to stay healthy, but now running has become an international endeavor, one that she considers an effort toward a greater good. “Although I am only one person, I want to do all I can to help charities for children with cancer and to spread awareness about the impact cancer has on families.”
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