Lethbridge runners working to help Afghan women and girls one step at a time

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WATCH: Runners across the country are uniting with females on the other side of the world to mark International Women's Day. Kyle Benning has more on the Secret Marathon and what Lethbridge participants are doing to help women and girls in Afghanistan – Mar 7, 2019

Runners and walkers across the country are coming together to help women and girls on the other side of the world.

Wednesday marked the kickoff of the second annual Secret Marathon — a three-kilometre race held during the week of International Women’s Day.

The run gets its name from a documentary about the first marathon held in Afghanistan, the route of which was kept secret to avoid being a target for terrorist groups.

READ MORE: Gender gap issues at the forefront on International Women’s Day

Canadian documentarians Kate McKenzie and Martin Parnell were inspired to create a similar run in Canada after they noticed many don’t feel safe going for a run or walk in their communities once the sun sets.

“Many women, both here in Canada and in Afghanistan, don’t feel safe to run at night or alone, and we want to change that by bringing our community together to celebrate everyone’s right to be free to run or walk in their community,” McKenzie said.

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Lethbridge runners took part in the second annual Secret Marathon in support of educational programs for Afghan women and girls on Wednesday. Global News

Funds collected from the event will go towards the film and donations will go towards education for women and girls in Afghanistan.

Sixteen cities are hosting events across Canada. About 900 people across the country have registered for this year’s event.

READ MORE: Rally, march, fair scheduled for downtown London in early International Women’s Day celebrations

Last year’s run collected more than $8,000 for Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan.

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