Martin Parnell runs a secret marathon with Afghanistan’s women​

Martin Parnell, an athlete with a record-breaking endurance level registered in the Guinness, ran over two hundred marathons a decade ago. The runner did so to defy the disgrace and warnings targeted at Afghanistan’s women as they were opting for secret marathons. ​

Five years ago, while Parnell was suffering from a serious ailment, he stumbled upon an article that informed how women in Afghanistan are forbidden from running in the streets. He determined to be fit enough again one day and run with these gritty women in solidarity. ​

He elaborates, “What got to me is these [Afghan] women can’t just lace up their shoes to run like I can. When they run, people call them names, call them prostitutes, throw rocks and they even receive threats from terrorist organizations.” ​