What do you do when you’ve spent months training for a marathon, only to find out you’re excluded from taking part because of your gender? This is the exact situation female runners from Iran found themselves in recently, when authorities decided to take back the decision to allow women to run the marathon as well as men.
The announcement last year that women were to be permitted to run the race was a seriously big deal not only to native runners, but generally for female runners all over the world. The annual marathon, held by the Dutch organisation I Run Iran, has always been a strictly male only event and this year was to include the first ever full 26.2 event for both genders. Female runners from around the world signed up, trained and travelled to the country to be part of a world first.
On arrival however, the runners were in for a shock as the organisation decided to back track on their decision and the last moment, meaning that women were still barred from the full 26.2 miles after all and only permitted to run a separate 10k race.