Boston Marathon and Women Rights in Iran

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by: Ali Talebinejad
April 16, 2007

Despite the heavy rain and wind storm, Boston witnessed its 111th Marathon today, Monday, April 16, 2007 and the 1st man and woman runners were:
Robert Cheruiyot, 2:14:13            Lidiya Grigoryeva, 2:29:18
and for the wheelchair:
Masazumi Soejima 1:29:16           Wakako Tsuchida, 1:53:30.

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. Approximately 500,000 spectators line the 42.2-Km (26.2-mile) course annually. Women and men started the race together today and were officially running shoulder to shoulder but it was not the case even 35 years ago!

Roberta Gibb was the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon in 1966. Gibb, who did not run with an official race number during any of the three years (1966-68) that she was the first female finisher, hid in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Katherine Switzer did not clearly identify herself as a female on the race application and was issued a bib number. B.A.A. officials tried unsuccessfully to physically remove Switzer from the race once she was identified as a woman entrant. At the time of Switzer’s run, the Amateur Athletics Union (A.AU.) had yet to formally accept participation of women in long distance running. When the A.A.U. permitted its sanctioned marathons (including Boston) to allow women entry in the fall of 1971, Nina Kuscsik’s 1972 B.A.A. victory the following spring made her the first official champion. Eight women started that race and all eight finished.

In some countries like Iran, women still do not have the same rights as men do and are especially restricted when it comes to many sports. For example women do not feel comfortable biking in streets even with what is considered Islamic outfits and will be harassed and intimidated by officials even if they decide to do so. We hope that authorities in countries such as Iran get enough lessons from history and do not reinvent it so especially women are not discriminated against any longer.

For more information about Boston Marathon see: http://www.bostonmarathon.org/BostonMarathon/

2 Responses to “Boston Marathon and Women Rights in Iran”

  1. Cash Advance Says:

    Phenomenal write up discussing Boston Marathon and Women Rights. Thoroughly enjoy this articles.

  2. snooks Says:

    An informative pos. It indicates the hardship and total disregard that is shown towards the female gender in some cultures.

    I dont know if this will be eradicated entirely, but let us hope that it is severly reduced.

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