Beirut Marathon Association leader, May Khalil, launched the 2018 edition of Saradar Bank Women’s Race.

During a lunch banquet at Platinum Towers, Khalil announced that the event would take place in Beirut on April 22, 2018.

After displaying a video, Khalil delivered the following speech:

“The first time I saw this video was in 2013. It moved me. Women, all women, have been enduring all sorts of violence, discrimination and pain. We are all one, and we’re all in this together.

I was never one to be moved by something and then shed a tear or two. Reflecting on my own accident, I always seem to set goals that are deemed impossible to many, and I grow persistence and determination to make it happen.

That video kept playing in my head. I thought of all the women rights NGOs that are doing amazing work in Lebanon. I thought of great initiatives and protests that are taking place, and I thought of running.

I thought of Katherine Switzer, the first female marathon runner who was pushed outside the track by the Boston Marathon organizer.

I thought of Nawal El Moutawakel of Morocco, the first woman from an Islamic nation to win an Olympic medal; and Tegla Loroupe of Kenya, who became the first African woman to win a major marathon.

These achievements were made in the face of numerous barriers based on gender discrimination. Women were often perceived as being too weak for sport, and it was often argued in the past that sport was harmful to women’s health, mainly their reproductive health.

You might not believe this, but Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, stated: “No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks.”

Such stereotypes fueled gender-based discrimination in sport.

Fact is, women derive many health benefits from an active lifestyle, it promotes psychological well-being through building self-esteem, and social integration, as well as help reduce stress, anxiety, loneliness and depression.

I then thought of the beautiful platform that Beirut Marathon offers, a platform that unites people using this simple sport to allow one to express themselves, to adopt causes and to just be.

That’s when the idea was born. In 2013, The Beirut Marathon launched the first edition of the Women’s Race, an event that uses running as a tool to empower girls and women through the sport of running.

This year’s edition of Saradar Bank Women’s Race, will take place in Beirut on April 22nd, 2018. A call to action for all the women of Lebanon to break the norms, defy stereotypes, face their fears, challenge themselves, step up to what’s right, discover their potential and keep running forward towards their goals and objectives, knowing they’re not alone, and believing that we’re in this together. Play ad and testimonials

Men and children are also invited to run with their families and support their loved ones in the 5KM fun run.

By running for a cause, 25% of the registration fees go directly to support the NGO’s work. We encourage everyone to dedicate their runs to one of our 188 NGO partners.

I look forward to having you and your network of supporters, friends and advocates with you. This is our race, a great platform for causes we believe so highly in.

So ladies and change makers, dreamers and doers, achievers and believers, Let us be numerous, let us show the world our colors of strength, of beauty, of passion, of commitment and of love.”

Source: National News Agency