Alfatah Kadal claims he runs the City, and with no disrespect to Mayor Bloomberg, he really does.
Every day he runs 13 miles from his home in Brooklyn to Baruch College.
That’s a long route, “but sometimes you just have to do it,” he said.
When MetroCard prices went up, Alfatah realized he could not afford the fare. Not wanting to burden his hardworking parents, he decided to take matters into his hands and feet.
“The financial situation was so bad, that of course no parents are going to tell their children that ‘hey, we have a problem,’ that we were on the verge of being evicted, that we were on the verge of becoming homeless and whatnot, so I had to take different jobs and try to help my family,” he said.
So every day Alfatah starts at his home in Brooklyn in the dark with a head lamp to light his way, over the Brooklyn Bridge and on to 25th Street.
What started out as a necessity has now become a passion. “I love to explore America through running,” he said.
Alfatah is addicted to running and has trained to run through the Amazon and the Sahara, all for charity.
“When I went to the Amazon jungle I didn’t exactly tell my parents exactly what I’ll be doing there. Or when I run in rain, for example, my mom is obviously worried. She doesn’t want me to get sick and whatnot, so I usually don’t tell her much of the things,” he said.
Alfatah will graduate this summer with a degree in finance, but what he’s learned pounding the pavement may be the most valuable lesson of all.
“There’s always an alternative, an option, that will lead towards a positive result, and that option must always be searched through. It may come through creative endeavors. It may require a lot of hard work, but that hard work will also translate into something that becomes a smart option and that is what my story is about,” he said.