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Two all-women teams to take part for the first time in Dead2Red race

Since1993, D2R has never had all-women team

By Maram Kayed - Feb 19,2019 - Last updated at Feb 19,2019

AMMAN — For the first time in the Dead2Red (D2R) Relay Race’s history, two all-women teams will be participating in the 24-hour marathon taking place on March 14. 

Since the first race held in 1993, D2R has never had an all-women team in the event. But this year, two all-women teams will be participating to raise funds for the Reclaim Childhood initiative.

“It is a very good cause, to raise money for girls in east Amman and Zarqa who partake in different activities and express themselves through these activities. The fact that transportation is provided is also very convenient for them and their families,” said Tess Longfield, one of the runners in the Run4WomensRights group.

The Reclaim Childhood initiative works to empower refugee and at-risk women and girls in Jordan through sport and play.

According to them, funds raised from the race will be put to further encourage the participation of girls and women in sports through summer camps and sports trainings.

Running the night through Jordan’s desert landscape from the Dead Sea to the shores of the Red Sea in Aqaba, organisers of the 242km relay race hope to raise JD1,000 as an “initial target”, said Longfield.

“We hope to raise more than that, as the charity does not have enough money to do the annual Ramadan iftar for the girls and their families this year,” she added.

The two new all-women teams, Run4WomensRights and Sisters with Blisters will be competing in two different categories.

Run4WomensRights will partake in the freestyle run and Sisters with Blisters will run in the half-marathon category.

One of the Sisters with Blisters runners, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the event “goes beyond the charity and extends to normalising and promoting the idea of women in sports.”

For freestyling teams, there are no restrictions on running distances after Ghor Al Mazraa, some 23-24 km, founder of D2R Samir Faroukh pointed out. 

Of course, teams may choose their own strategies in regards to distances. 

As for the half-marathon category, each runner must complete the distance of a semi-marathon (21.1km) before handing over to the next runner.

Other categories include a solo race, where one professional runner must complete a full 200km distance within 34 hours; and the full marathon race, in which each runner in the team must complete a full marathon (42.2km) before handing over to the next runner.

There will also be a chance for school students to participate in teams of 10, consisting of eight current school students and two adults.

When it was first held, more than two decades ago, the race had two teams of six runners each. In 2019, the race has an estimated 400-450 participants, Faroukh said.

“We usually have more participation from schools, but the Dead Sea incident has affected the activities of many schools,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone.

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