Under the slogan “We’ll Run Together For Peace,” nearly seven thousand runners from about 55 countries participated in Erbil International Marathon for Peace on 25 October 2013. Aiming to promote peace and tolerance, DI members participated in this event, and DI coordinator in Kurdistan region did a tremendous job in taking part in arranging and documenting the event.
On this occasion, Defend International thank him and all DI members who attended Erbil Marathon for Peace, congratulate the winners in each category, commend the spirit of all participants and thank all the volunteers for their support to peace activities.
DI and Erbil International Marathon for Peace
Under the slogan “We’ll Run Together For Peace,” a record 7,000 runners from about 55 countries participated in Erbil International Marathon for Peace on 25 October 2013. Aiming to promote peace and tolerance, Defend International members attended the event, and DI coordinator in Kurdistan region Mr. Dler Ibrahim did a tremendous job in taking part in arranging, following-up and documenting the event.
Success: Growing Number of Participants
To date, this was the region’s biggest marathon, and the observed growing number of participants this year (compared to 3,000 runners in 2011) was thought to be attributed to the involvement of international, regional and local NGOs in raising awareness about the event, encouraging their members to attend. The increase in participants might also be attributed to the fact that NGOs like Defend International were successful in harnessing the power of social media to increase visibility and attract more participants. Months prior to the marathon, Defend International co-founder, Dr. Widad, was engaged personally in tweeting and sending newsletters or direct emails to members of Defend International Network.
Dr. Widad said today: “We thank DI coordinator Mr. Ibrahim and all DI members who attended Erbil Marathon for Peace. We congratulate the winners in each category, commend the spirit of all participants and thank all the volunteers for their support to peace activities. Today, both participants and other attendees showed the world how committed they are to peace, nonviolence, tolerance and justice. These key messages were supported today in Erbil by everyone present, either in person or spirit. This milestone year should be the point from which we should start planning our involvement in upcoming peace activities. Of course, as always, we rely very heavily on our members’ support and assistance.”
Facts and Figures
The event hosted athletes from both genders, sports fans, individuals, families, and peace-lovers with special needs. NGOs, governmental agencies, the private sector, and youth clubs were represented. The races included a 4km, 10km and a classic marathon distance of 42.194km.
Among participants from 25 different countries, the male winner of Erbil’s Classic marathon was from Kenya, Mr. Vincent Seriwt, who completed the race in two hours 33 minutes 49 seconds. In addition, the female winner was also from Kenya, Ms. French Kibekora, who completed the run in three hours 35 minutes.
It bears noting that a number of ministers and representatives of Kurdistan Regional Government, consulates, foreign diplomatic missions and civil society were also present. At the end of the race, an award cermony and a reception took place in the Sami Abdul Rahman Park, sponsored by Mr. Nawzad Hadi, Governor of Erbil. On 28 June 2013, this international sport event for peace became a member of the Association of International marathons and Distance Races.