Miles for Smiles: 100 mile race fundraiser for Underprivileged Children in Nepal

Suhma Manandhar ran to help raise funds for Muskan Sewa Nepal

Dec. 4, 2013, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol: 07 No. -11 Nov. 29- 2013 (Mangsir 14, 2070)

Jacksonville, FL – Sushma Manandhar, a resident of Jacksonville, FL ran the Wild Sebastian 100 mile race on November 16, 2013 to help raise funds for Muskaan Sewa Nepal, a sanctuary for underprivileged children.  Sushma completed the race within the 32 hour time limit.  She ran from morning 7:00 am till the next day afternoon non-stop, with occasional break for food/drinks and to change her shoes.  From dusk to dawn, she ran with a fellow runner using the aid of a head lamp.

Sushma remembers wild deer and boars crossing the path, mostly in dark, and frequent unfamiliar cry of animals in near distance.  This was expected since it was a trail run in a large Forest Park in Sebastian, Florida.  Sushma says, “The run was difficult, since the trail had uneven surface, and the rain made the path slippery.  Now imagine running at night.”

Sushma is a Senior Accounting Manager at FIS Global, a mother of two (10 years old and a 4 years old), and an ardent community worker.  She is passionate about running and has several marathons, including, Ultra marathons (55 miles, 50 K, etc) under her belt.  Earlier this year in February, she ran a 55 mile race (Wolfson 55) to help raise funds for Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, FL.

Sushma has a long history of community service.  She is an ex-President of Nebraska Nepalese Society, and also chaired the ANMA-NASeA Joint Convention 2008 in Omaha, NE.  She has been active within the Jacksonville Nepali community.

A total of 56 registered to undertake this challenge - comprised mostly of veteran runners who several 100 mile race under their belt.  Due to the sheer difficulty of the race, only 11 runners completed the race.  Sushma was one of them.   By the time she had completed 75 miles, she was in terrible pain and discomfort due to numerous blisters in both her feet.  The last 25 miles was the biggest challenge as she moved forward in pain.  The thought of the underprivileged children, was the motivating factor that helped push her, and not give up, unlike the majority.  She was determined to complete the race at all cost.

Not only did Sushma complete the race within time, but she was also presented with the Wild Sebastian 100 Perseverance Award.  The detail of Sushma’s Race Report is available at http://sushiruns.blogspot.com.   During the final 25 miles loop, Sushma was assisted by Jack Stevison, who shares the story from his perspective:  http://www.stevisoncapital.com/trading/?p=1124

The fundraising effort will continue until the end of December 2013, and contributions can be made online at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/2bsKe

Muskaan Sewa Nepal is a non-for-profit organization based in Kathmandu, Nepal, and offers sanctuary for underprivileged children.  Muskaan Sewa was founded in 2009 by Bhawanee Gurung, then a recent-retiree, who has more than a decade of community / social service experience in the United Kingdom. 

Muskaan Sewa is currently funded mostly by Mrs. Gurung’s family and friends, and occasional sponsorship from regional non-profit organizations like Rotary Club of Kathmandu, among the few.  There are currently about a dozen children that live in Muskaan Sewa, and the organization would like to expand their sanctuary to additional children who are in dire need.  The children are not only offered food and lodging, but also education and emotional support.  The goal of Muskaan Sewa is turn these underprivileged children into an independent, educated, and productive member of the society.

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