Erbil to host marathon against violence in October
Erbil will host an international marathon to celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence on October 7. Thousands of athletes from across Iraq, as well as from the U.S., Canada, Japan and several European countries are expected, according to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).
Runners can sign up individually or in teams, representing NGOs, Government Ministries, Youth Clubs, Student and Workers Unions and any other informal group, to compete in one of the three races (2 km, 10 km, 21km and 42 km) where many prizes will be offered for the winners.
"It will be a marathon according to international standards," said Hugh Jones, representative of the IAAF. "Erbil's geographical location is suitable for the run. We believe that sport is a vehicle for connecting people all over the world says Nicola Visconti the Erbil Marathon co-organizer from Sport Against Violence in Rome, Italy who already has recruited 37 runners to travel from Rome to Erbil for the race".
Following the marathon, civil society activists from all over the world will convene in Erbil for the International Conference of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (October 8-9, 2011), building bridges of solidarity and cooperation with Iraqi social movements who are working to build a democratic Iraq, with respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The First International Iraqi Marathon for Peace and Nonviolence in Erbil and the ICSSI Conference are part of the Iraqi Week of Nonviolence, a week-long series of national activities sponsored by Iraqi NGOs of the Iraqi Non-Violence Network (Laonf) including the Al-Mesalla, Kurdistan Youth Organization (KEYO) and the Iraqi Kurdistan NGO Network (IKNN).
The marathon will start on Sept. 7 in Erbil's circular 60 meter street with the slogan of "Let's Run For Peace and Non-Violence"