1500 women take part in the first women-only marathon in Saudi Arabia

Physical exercise is very important for everyone as it maintains the health and fitness of the body. Saudi women were always deprived of attending sports activities and events but now the Kingdom has changed a lot.

It is making significant progress for empowering its women. In recent months women of the Kingdom have made impressive strides and the society is also undergoing special changes for women like allowing them to participate in sports activities and attend major sports events in the stadium.

In September 2017, hundreds of women were allowed to enter a sports event in the stadium for the first time to mark Saudi Arabia’s national day.

Later in the start of this very year women were allowed to watch the sport matches openly sitting in the Stadium, this will encourage them to participate in different sports activities and now the time has arrived when officials are encouraging the Saudi women to participate in fitness and sports activities.

Saudi Arabia holds first marathon for women
1,500 take part as women are empowered through sports
Credit: Al Marsad

Very recently this weekend, Saudi Arabia held its first marathon for women. About 1,500 women came forward from all across the Kingdom to take a part in the marathon.

2,000 women signed up for the marathon which was a much higher number than the expected number.  After selecting 1,500 women the organizer stopped to accept further participants.

However, the charm of running to promote fitness was also seen last month when Rasha Al Hambra, a health enthusiast and the founder of bliss runner, formed a running group called ‘bliss runner’ in which 100 of women registered themselves for running activity.

The running event was organized by Al-Moosa Hospital and sponsored by the Saudi general authority for sports in collaboration with Al-Ahsa security. Malik Al-Moosa, the marathon general supervisor said, this unique event was organized to enhance running as a sport.

A 28-year-old Mizna Al-Nassar, a graphic designer, and an athlete stood at first place in the 3-kilometer race. After winning the first place in the event, she hopes to represent her country in 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Mizna ran a three-kilometer marathon in just 15 minutes beating the participants of US and Taiwan who came second and third. She had also participated in Islamic games in Baku Azerbaijan in 2017 and in Ladies sports games in Sharjah 2018.

However, Mizna said her family supported her and there was no obstacle to her participation. Her family completely motivated her and she was committed to being fit for all races. She described that she ate only specific food and is following special training since 2014.

On the other hand, the people of the Kingdom appreciated and absolutely loved this activity saying that they were waiting for this day and Marathon Al-Ahsa is trying to raise awareness of healthy lifestyle in the community

Saudi female athletes celebrated their achievements at global scale events, including the Rio 2016 Olympics.  And four female athletes also attended the international games, after two bold Saudi women who participated in the London 2012 games.

Considering all these improvements, it doesn't look impossible for Saudi women to participate and represent their country at the Olympics in the future.

Source: Gulf News