Female runners take on Iran’s first marathon despite ban

Photo by Bahar Shoghi (@baharshoghi)

Two female runners competed in Iran's first official marathon this Saturday (9th April), despite women being banned by the region's authorities. Local video journalist Bahar Shoghi tweeted that she'd seen two women race unofficially, taking on the 'I Run Iran' marathon alongside around 250 male runners.

Race founder Sebastian Straten, who is originally from Holland, told the Telegraph "Unfortunately, women are not allowed to run this first limited edition. There are many (Iranian) women who like to run and we hope in the next edition we get the permission for women to run the marathon."

"Iran, as you might know, has its own religious traditions and customs. Local (religious) authorities are not yet acquainted with the concept of public (female) running. So we invite all men to participate and show how sport can unite."

Race organisers added "‘This marathon is about more than running. We invite men, women and children from different cultures and continents to participate. To discover, to enjoy, to eat and to celebrate together."