Alaskan Runner Raises $12,000 for Diabetes

Mansour Alzaharna is known to his neighbors in Barrow, Alaska, as the deli and food court manager at the local Alaska Commercial store, according to The Arctic Sounder, a newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska. Every year, the parent company of the AC store for which Alzaharna works sends a team of runners to the Walt Disney World Marathon, in which runners speed through the four Disney theme parks in Orlando, Florida, to raise money for charitable causes.  This year, Alzaharna was among them, and he raised $12,000 for the American Diabetes Association in the process. 

Alzaharna had to raise $2000 for charity just to enter the race, but he raised six times that by sending letters to businesses asking for donations and by manning a table at the AC store from which he gave out healthy food donated by the store, educated shoppers about diabetes, and solicited donations. 

Although no member of his family has diabetes, Alzaharna raised $12,000 for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). He told the Arctic Sounder that he did it for the people of Barrow and that he likes helping the community. This is the first year that the Alaskan ADA has been represented in the race, according to the Arctic Sounder.

Alzaharna, who grew up in Jordan, has always enjoyed running. He has run in many local races, but this was his first full marathon. He trained in the snow when it was at least 10 degrees above zero, and when it was colder, he trained indoors on a treadmill. He finished the marathon in 3 hours, 51 minutes, and placed 1,476th out of the 14,950 people who crossed the finish line.

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