Beirut Marathon Association – Women’s Run, Jbeil

womens race 9 (Thank you to Georges Rabbath for taking this shot of me)

The minute I found out about this race I got really excited; I’ve been following the Beirut Marathon Association for a while now but I unfortunately did not take part in any of its events due to my work commitments. But when I stumbled on the Women’s Run Facebook event, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t miss this one. I immediately called my Mom who lives in Lebanon to ask her to head to ABC Achrafieh so she could reserve on my behalf (not only did she get me a ticket, but she got one for herself and my little sister. Yes she’s quite a cutie)

What was great about this race is that it catered to everyone. Yes it’s called Women’s Run, but men were able to participate if they represented a charity or running for a cause. There really was no excuse for not attending this event. The options were the following:

  • 10 km women’s challenge: For women ages 14+ giving you the chance to push yourself and challenge no one but yourself
  • 10 km relay race: This option was perfect for the women (ages 10+) who wanted to share the experience as a duo
  • 5km fun run: For women of all ages. Men and children were also able to register for this option by running in support of their loved ones, or any non-profit organizations advocating causes towards women rights. Instead of having a bib number on their t-shirts, the men had a customized message showing the cause they were running for
  • 1 km run with parents: This race was for children (boys and girls) who are 9 years old and under
  • 10 km special needs race: Women with special needs of all ages (standard wheelchair, blind, and leg amputees)
  • 5 km special needs race: For men and women who are mentally challenged

womens race

The track was perfectly chosen in order to be suitable for everyone from all levels. We had a good amount of down hills as well as up hills, water stands were carefully and safely placed at every kilometre, and the best part? Loud, highly-motivating, super cute groups from all different schools and organizations were standing on the side of the roads cheering throughout the whole run.

Speaking of the track, since I never got to live in Lebanon, I was constantly looking around during the whole 10 km of the race. Because the scenery was absolutely incredible with the endless amount of greens around, I did not feel like I was running. Time has never passed this quickly before; the fresh air and greenery were my fuel. After I was done with the race, I stood by the finish line since I had to wait for my sister and mom to finish anyway, and I watched the runners so happy with smiles drawn across their faces finish the race; from parents with their young ones, to people with disabilities, to friends holding each other’s hand; it was an inspiring sight

womens race 1The top 3 winners of the 10 KM race – Lea Iskandar (40:57), Aregu Abate (42:10), and Sonia Hanna (42:34)

womens race 2The top 3 Winners of the 10 KM Special Needs Race

womens race 3  womens race 5

womens race 7 The beautiful and inspiring May El Khalil – President of the Beirut Women Association 

The Women’s Run was an event that really welcomed anyone. Even if someone has never donned a pair of running trainers in their life, it didn’t really matter. It wasn’t only all about beating your record or finishing first, it was about coming together as a community to support the women of our beloved country. Every single person I saw was encouraged, full of energy, full of life, and simply happy; happy to be apart of something beautiful

Joelle Garabedian

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