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Support Ukraine on 2023 Boston Marathon

Meet SOP Runner - Marichka Padalko 

"Running a marathon is certainly a big challenge for me, considering that my country has been fighting a terrible war for over a year now and I didn’t have normal conditions to train. Running unites people. I am running this marathon to spread the message that Ukraine needs and relies on global unity and support."

Mariia Padalko - or Marichka Padalko, as most people know her in Ukraine - is a famous journalist and anchor on Ukrainian television. A dedicated athlete herself, she worked as a sports reporter early in her career, but has turned to children's TV, day shows, and news in more recent years. Marichka is known and loved in Ukraine for her open and confident spirit, strong feminist beliefs and family values, dedication to her country and a warm, two-way relationship with her viewers and followers. 

"I was among first Ukrainian anchors to go Live on the air on the morning of invasion and I have been reporting on this war ever since. I spent countless hours in a bunker studio and had to sleep at work for a few months while my parents took care of my three kids - they evacuated into western Ukraine. Running any chance I have has been my only escape from the devastating reality and helped me focus and continue doing my job communicating with my audience in Ukraine."

Marichka is a mother of 3 children and a wife to Egor Sobolev - a former journalist turned activist and politician, who volunteered to join the Ukrainian Defense Forces to protect his country and resist Russia's aggression. Through action and dedication, Marichka and her family have committed themselves to ensure that Ukraine remains free and independent. Marichka's is the face of proud resilience and Ukraine's incredible resistance.

"Running has always been a family thing for us with my husband, and our last race together was just weeks before the invasion.  So in Boston, I will be running for the two of us as he went to fight the first day Russia invaded."

Marichka is running to support Sunflower of Peace and its life-saving mission for Ukraine. All funds raised by Marichka will go toward the new initiative of Sunflower of Peace to ensure access to high-quality trauma-informed psychological care for Ukraine's POWs (prisoners of war) who returned from captivity and for their families.  


"Every Ukrainian is doing the best they can to bring the victory closer. If evil wins in one part of the world, it may spread to others. Ukraine is fighting for very basic values like freedom, democracy, and national identity - something that Russia has denied its neighbor for centuries. Our generation understands that this is our fight and we take this challenge and this sacrifice, but we do not want this to be our children’s fight. For us, victory is the only way to stop this war. Because if we stop fighting, Ukraine will exist no more."

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Support Marichka and Support Ukraine


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