Runners flock to Tehran's first marathon

The race route, packed with hundreds of marathoners, wove its way past iconic Iranian landmarks.

| | Sport, Iran, Middle East

The first marathon in Tehran's history was held on Friday, drawing hundreds of experienced and neophyte runners from around the world.

But the race encountered some hurdles, amid confusion over whether women would be permitted to run. In the end, they were allowed to run a separate half-marathon of 21km, rather than the men's full 42km marathon. They were also obliged to conform to a dress code, including a hair covering and a ban on any clothing that revealed bare legs.

The full marathon started at Azadi (Freedom) Stadium, and passed by the iconic Azadi Tower, a prominent structure during rallies in the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Other landmarks along the route included Ferdowsi Square, built in honour of the famous Persian poet, and the Tehran City Theatre along Valiasr Street, one of the longest avenues in the Middle East.

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