HAPPY NATIONAL GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SPORTS DAY! 🌍💪
On this day, I can’t help but think back to the inspiring @freetorunngo Afghan women runners I had the pleasure of meeting...all of whom are using running as their WEAPON OF CHANGE to encourage future Afghan women to defy cultural norms and assert their independence in society.
Liz from @runtoreach is a true running inspiration and a strong woman with a focus on #femaleempowerment 🏃♀️👩💪🏻
This is what gets her going to achieve her goal to run 30 marathons before she is turning 30 in June this year. 🥇🏆
„I run to feel alive. I run to achieve that moment of clarity in my head when I can push myself to ask questions I didn't know needed asking and seeking answers to some of my most challenging internal dilemmas. Running makes me feel empowered and like I can conquer any challenge put in front of me" 🤩💯
This is not enough. Liz is supporting women-focused NGOs in the countries she is finishing her thirty #42k and it is no surprise. The marathons she picks are quite tough ones like the one in Patagonia where this picture is coming from or the marathon of Afghanistan, which she finished in October with 800 other participants. Please have a look on her Insta where she shares all of her inspiring running stories and the projects she is supporting. We are proud to feature you and your incredible uplifting energy, dear Liz! 💫👆🏻~ Liz Warner
Keep it up and enjoy your road to #30marathonsbefore30#runningmotivation#marathonrunner@patagonianmarathon
1 6727 January, 2020
CASUALLY ON A RUN ALONG THE PYRAMIDS.
Insanely excited to finally be here in Egypt to take on the Luxor Marathon in just two days!
ALL IN SUPPORT of the one-of-a-kind, truly incredible women-empowerment organization, @heyamasr 🙌
I have been eager to travel to Egypt for months to dig deep into discovering all sorts of developments being made on women’s rights here.
Recently named the “world’s most dangerous city for women” only 10 years ago, 97% of women reported to be victims of sexual harassment in Cairo and 1 in 4 girls were victims of sexual violence.
These numbers are thankfully on the decline 📉 but not without the support of incredible organizations, like @heyamasr that provides 6-month long character building workshops for girls AND BOYS from ages 7 to 14.
With a 3rd of the population falling under these ages - @heyamasr understands educating & training both young girls AND boys on subjects like empathy/self-awareness, wellness, sexual harassment, and bullying awareness - IS what will propel the country forward.
___ ❗️Please join me in supporting this admirable organization by donating whatever you can❗
A small $5, $10, or $25 can help Heya Masr expand their classes to reach and empower more girls with more qualified trainers!
DONATION LINK IN BIO 🙏🏼🇪🇬❤️
Off to Luxor tomorrow to take on the marathon but I cannot wait to continue to share more stories of these inspiring girls (and boys!) fighting back against social inequality during the rest of my time here in Egypt! 💪
[For a more interactive explanation of their actions check out my stories!)
I DARE YOU TO GUESS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY FASTEST AND SLOWEST MARATHON TIMES THIS YEAR!🏃🏼♀️💨 / 🐢
...about roughly the time it takes to fly from New York to LA. ✈️ ⏱
OR the average time to run a 42km marathon as a whole! 🏃🏼♀️🏅
So here it goes:
>🏃🏼♀️💨 Fastest Marathon Time: 3:42 hours (Oman in January)
> 🐢 Slowest Marathon Time: 8:14 hours (Colombia in early December)*
*This was a beastly mountain marathon that I still feel sore from almost 8 days after the fact !)
Almost a 5 hour difference between the two, which is slightly crazy to wrap my head around. 🤯😆
But I feel happy to be reminded just how much I have enjoyed being completely PROCESS-FOCUSED, rather than NUMBERS-FOCUSED during this journey.
I purposefully choose not to wear a watch during my runs in order to be able to really LISTEN to my body, SOAK in my surroundings, and remind myself how amazing it feels to simply...RUN.
𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘈𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘙𝘶𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘰𝘥𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵
𝘌𝘱𝘪𝘴𝘰𝘥𝘦 𝟸𝟺. 𝘓𝘪𝘻 𝘞𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘳 @𝘳𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩
𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘺𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘻𝘺 𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘢 𝘺𝘰𝘶'𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘥? 𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘢𝘺 𝘺𝘦𝘴? 𝘞𝘩𝘺 𝘯𝘰𝘵?
Liz did say yes! Liz is a Woman on a Mission - planning to achieve 30 Marathons in 30 Countries Before turning 30 whilst raising money for 20 women-focussed NGO's.
Due to the logistics of the mission and the great length of time spent liaising between the 20 NGO's as well as organising travel, accommodation and other logistics that typically go along with travelling and running endurance events abroad, Liz was no longer able to fit in any time to work freelance alongside Run to Reach as she initially hoped.
Liz' determination, and drive is clear. The mission has required a great deal of strength; she has felt lost at times and that her end goal - far from sight, but she has continued on with the support from her husband and Liz will go on to achieve her mission and raise money for the 20 different charities and will be, as she says: "Helping locally by running globally."
What I love about Liz, is her outlook on life. There is so much to take from this episode including the inspiring and profound reasons Liz chooses to run, as well as the three best pieces of advice she'd give to anyone: One of which was to list 5 things you are grateful for daily.
Liz is an incredible person, with an incredible mission and heart and I really want you to hear all about her goal, listen in to the episode. Please Donate to Liz' Run to Reach if you can, Head to my Bio - for Link to Podcast, and additional links are in the show notes.
MEDAL MONDAY IN COTE D'IVOIRE
So let's break this marathon down.
Epic? Yes. Scenic? Not significantly. Memorable? To the extreme.💥
While the majority of this race took place on roadways 🛣 (with ongoing traffic 🙈), it was an especially important one for me.
It felt like so much more than clocking in another 42km, but symbolically fighting for the rights of women to be considered equals in this race, but also in the workforce throughout Côte d'Ivoire.
This is raison d'être of @empow.her, my partner NGO, to provide training resources to Ivorian women entrepreneurs that enables their self-made businesses to thrive!
A personal anecdote- I ran every single kilometer with the fiery French women, Clara, who was just as much if not more a fierce player in the battle to allow our participation in this race. It was a full marathon of sharing life stories and connecting on such a deep, human level...that will leave the most lasting imprint on my memory of this marathon.
Grateful for every kilometer in the sweltering 40 degree heat! And the lifelong friendship formed in the process.
Posted @withrepost • @runtoreach Crossing over an invisible (non-existent) finishing line was the 🍒 on top of making the Marathon of Afghanistan truly the most unforgettable marathon I have run to date.
But what made it even more memorable? This year about 40% of 800 participants were Afghan women, either participating in the full marathon or the accompanying 10k. Simply amazing. @freetorunngo 🏃🏻♀️🇦🇫💪
This race could not have been a truer reflection of the transformative power of running; one that reflected mutual respect, unity, and camaraderie among both the Afghan female and male participants, running side by side in support of each other.
The course itself was a tough one with more than 1000m total ascent and a general altitude of over 3,000 meters (almost 10,000 ft!)
But the physically demanding elements were made to feel (somewhat) insignificant in comparison to the absolutely breathtaking surrounding landscape.
No question, Band-e Amir National Park rivals the Grand Canyon with its towering canyons above and glistening turquoise lakes below.
So excited to be running along the colorful streets of this seaside Chilean town, ahead of marathon #20 !
In a country with the FIRST ever female president, I have also never felt more energized to be supporting Chile's principle women's fund ahead of the @patagonianmarathon - Fondo Alquimia!
@fondoalquimia fights to amplify the voices of women throughout Chile on issues such as, gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive rights, and the affects of climate change on well-being.
Through their financial support, @fondoalquimia acts as the "connective tissue" that unites 130 female-led grassroots organizations within Chile...and I couldn't be more proud to be fighting for funding for such an amazing organization.
I think we can all agree that running TRANSCENDS mere exercise.
It unites us. It empowers us…and in the case of Afghan women, it questions and challenges societal norms, as well.
Running is highly discouraged for women here in Afghanistan — even dangerous. They face and overcome constant harassment, offensive reactions, and sometimes even stronger threats...simply for running in public.
So working with an incredible organization like @freetorungo that provides safe spaces for Afghan women to train and realize their athletic potential, is inspiring beyond-words...to the point of goose bumps.
Next topic: FITNESS. What about the actual marathons? 😳🏃🏼♀️
How has this challenge been going physically?...taking on 15x 42.195’s in a single year. 😯 (I should preface this by saying how running this many marathons is very normal for many of you...but to the average, sane human..it’s crazy).
So, the surprising truth is….🥁🥁…I actually feel LESS in shape than I did before taking on this 30 before 30 challenge this past January.
Before Run to Reach, I was regularly running at least 100km/60 miles per week, at a fairly fast pace. And now? I would be lucky to run this many km’s in an entire month (marathon races included!)
And...! 😝 I’ve added at least 30 minutes to my marathon time now too (running between 4:15 and 4:45 for a moderate trail/road race)
The honest truth is, I have found it pretty hard to train comfortably outside in a lot of the countries I have been traveling to. Don't get me wrong, this is not me playing the 🎻 for myself - given the circumstances, it’s just not safe for women, especially someone who clearly isn’t from the area, to run freely in some parts of the world (having several personal stories bringing me to this conclusion.)
So how have I managed to not get injured then? My solution has been traveling with a small yoga mat 🧘♀️ everywhere I go, which I've found to be instrumental in keeping my body relatively strong with strength training workouts 🏋🏼♀️, while also making sure I adequately stretch in the morning & night.