Iran to host first marathon open to international runners

Iran will host its first marathon open to international runners, the I Run Iran Marathon, in April but women will be banned from competing.

Iran Marathon gate of Nations
Iran Marathon gate of Nations
The marathon finishes at Persepolis’ Gate of all Nations. Photo: Ali Mjr via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran will host its first marathon open to international runners on April 9 at the I Run Iran Marathon.

According to The Telegraph, women will be banned from competing in the race due to local regulations.

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“Unfortunately, women are not allowed to run this first limited edition”, race founder Sebastian Straten told The Telegraph. “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.”

The race begins in Shiraz, Iran’s sixth most populous city, and finishes at the Gate of all Nations, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the ancient city of Persepolis.

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The Government of Canada website suggests avoiding all travel to Iran citing the closure of the Canadian embassy and because of “heightened regional tensions.”

The I Run Iran Marathon is intended to:

Inspire a young Iranian population to run for fun. Most sports in Iran are practiced indoor and street running is not common. The event is the start of a campaign for running as an outdoor sport and recreational activity.

Four Canadian runners have confirmed their attendance, according to the race website.

Registration for the I Run Iran Marathon is packaged together with a number of tour options that include sightseeing among some of Iran’s most historic cities and locations. Tours are provided by Iran Silk Road.