March 8, 2018 8:36 am

Peterborough’s Secret Marathon celebrates the freedom of running for women in Afghanistan

About 50 men and women laced up their sneakers Mar. 7 for the Secret Marathon in Peterborough; a three-kilometre run or walk to raise money and awareness for women in Afghanistan.

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About 50 men and women laced up their sneakers on the eve of International Women’s Day, for the Secret Marathon in Peterborough; a three-kilometre run or walk to raise money and awareness for women in Afghanistan.

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“In this day and age there are women and other people that can’t run when they want to, and it has to be a secret, and they can’t publicize, and it’s shocking that in this day and age that you can’t take care of yourself the way you need to, so that’s why I’m here,” said participant Barbara Busche.

It’s traditionally frowned upon for women in Afghanistan to participate in sports, so in 2015 a group of women started the Secret Marathon to experience the freedom of running.

READ MORE: Losing Afghanistan: A close-up look at the plight of women caught in a cycle of violence 

“They ran but it was a secret room and they had to train secretly, too,” said Melodie McCullough, a member of the local chapter of Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

That’s why 10 cities across the country collaborated with the Running Room to organise the first-ever Secret Marathon in Canada.

“It’s good to be out and see some friends that I haven’t run with in years and support the community and communities abroad,” said participant Tyr Bacon.

READ MORE: Losing Afghanistan: the worst place in the world to be a widow

“I’s raising money for the Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan which is a non-profit group, which raises money for the education of women and girls in Afghanistan,” said McCullough.

The $15 registration fee also supports funding for the Secret Marathon documentary. It profiles what it’s like training in secret in order to avoid being a target for a terrorist attack.

The documentary will be airing in the fall of 2018.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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