A Boston Marathon qualifier living in Canada is in jeopardy of missing the 2018 race because of Donald Trump’s travel ban, he says.
Toronto’s Soroush Hatami, who clocked 3:05:42 at the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon in the men’s 35-39 age category, which requires running a time of 3:10:00 or faster. Because he was born in Iran, he says that “it’s not going to be easy to run Boston,” the runner told the CBC. The 37-year-old is a permanent resident of Canada and is in the process of obtaining Canadian citizenship.
In early 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a travel ban (via an executive order) for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations, including Iran. In December 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court, according to CNN, “allowed the newest version of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to take effect pending appeal.” The current version is known as “Travel ban 3.0.” According to the Economist, the Supreme Court is expected to “hear the case in April” with a legality ruling decision to be made “by the end of June.”
Politico reports that a federal appeals court ruled that Trump’s latest travel ban should be partially blocked however that decision has no “immediate effect” because of the Supreme Court’s earlier December decision for the ban to take effect pending appeal.
The date of the 2018 Boston Marathon, which Hatami says he has paid for and completed all necessary steps of registration, is April 16.
Training partners Hatami and fellow Torontonian Daniel Sellers began fundraising – in hopes of raising US$1,000 for each of a marathon’s 26.2 miles (42.2K) – through Banned On The Run. “We’re hoping to raise a minimum of US$26,200 for the fight against the travel ban,” they say via the effort’s website. The money is going towards Muslim Advocates and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP).
“The travel ban offends me as a rational, fair-minded person,” Sellers told the CBC in a recent interview. “I’m happy to do anything I can to publicly denounce it and make some small effort oppose it.” Sellers qualified for Boston with a sub-3:00 clocking.
In a Feb. 14, 2018-dated post entitled “One Step Closer to Boston” on the Banned On The Run website, Hatami says he was invited to “write the Canadian citizenship test and follow up interview. The case officer asked for additional documents, and they were sent to her immediately after the interview.”
And we're off! There's a lot of snow on the ground here in Toronto already, and there's more on the way tonight. But bad weather didn't spoil our waterfront run on Friday, and a bad political climate south of the border won't stop us from doing everything we can to run the Boston Marathon together in 2018. As we train for Boston, please help us fight the Trump travel ban by making a donation to one of the fine organizations we support. To learn more, and to donate, visit our website: bannedontherun2018.com #nobannowall #resisttrump #boston2018 #notravelban
In early 2017, Canadian 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Mohammed Ahmed wrote an op-ed about how the Trump travel ban has affected him. Around the same time, in February 2017, a University of Sherbrooke runner was stopped at the U.S.-Canada border and was denied entry into the United States on route to a track and field competition in Boston.