On November 1, Ali Pourmaleki will step to the start line of the New York City Marathon with more than 50,000 people. As one of Asphalt Green’s charity racers, Ali is racing not only for himself but also to improve the lives of New Yorkers through sports and fitness. Get to know Ali better, and find out what motivated him to run 26.2.  

Q: What motivated you to run the NYC marathon? 

A: I’ve always wanted to run a marathon—it's one of my life goals. I thought, “What better marathon to run than the NYC one? I also knew that I wanted to do it for charity.  


Q: Why did you decide to run with and fundraise for Asphalt Green? 

A: I find the mission really important—bringing athletics to underserved people who may not have access to it. I've been an athlete my whole life, so I know how important it is. I was a swimmer; I swam through college. I understand the importance of bringing swim lessons to people who may not be able to get that normally. 


Q: Why do you think sports and fitness are important? 

A: I think everyone needs to stay active to have a healthy lifestyle. I think being active in a controlled setting with lessons and other kids your age is very important.  


Q: What life lessons have you learned from sports?  

A: One of the biggest things I've learned is time management. Between school, practices, and weight lifting, you have to learn how to manage your time well. It’s stuck with me since I was very little. 


Q: How did you get into the sport? 

A: I ran on my middle school cross country team. I ran through ninth grade, then stopped to focus on swimming. Since college ended a couple of years ago, I wanted to take a year or two off of swimming to focus on something else. I always enjoyed running when I was younger, so  I picked it up again in the past couple of years.  


Q: What do you love about the sport? 

A: I love cardio sports—swimming, running, biking. Running is on land, so it’s a nice change from swimming.


Q: Who inspires you? 

A: In terms of athletics, my mom was a track athlete in college. My family is originally from Iran; she used to do track in Iran. I'm a big sports fan in general. I'm obsessed with every sport—any sport you can think of, I follow it.  


Q: How do you stay motivated during training? 

A: My athletics background has taught me over time to be mentally tough. Swimming is such a mental sport. It has prepared me to stay focused.  know exercise is a very important part of my day. I’m a competitive person, so I actually enjoy logging my runs and seeing my improvement over time. I’m competitive against myself.  


Q: Music or no music?  

A: I’m a no music person.  


Q: What do you think about while you run?  

A: I’m competitive with myself. I’m very present while I’m running. I’m thinking about staying focused on my run and nothing else. I think about how I can be the best version of myself during the run that I’m on. 


Q: What are you most looking forward to on race day? 

A: The New York City Marathon is such a famous race, and I'm excited to be a part of it and reach a goal I set for myself. I’ve watched the marathon in person the past couple of years, and I’m looking forward to being on the other side. I want to be as competitive as I possibly can. Hopefully I run fast enough to qualify for other marathons. I'm also excited because I’m doing it for a great cause.  


Help Ali reach his fundraising goal. Donate today.