1st Tehran International Marathon

April 7th 2017

1st Marathon of Iran (Persepolis)

April 9th 2016

Tehran,  7th of April 2017 at 7 AM (updated: 26th of April 2017)

Breaking Barriers by Building Bridges

2 years ago, I came up with the idea of organizing a marathon in Iran. Inspired by my own experience with street running in Amsterdam, Athens and Yazd (Iran). Running creates a positive energy. It inspires and unites. The interaction between runners and supporters along the road is unique. So why would this not be possible in Iran…

At the First International Iran Marathon near Persepolis on April 9th 2016, the people of Marvdasht displayed their generous hospitality towards 150 runners from 30 different countries. They proved that running goes beyond borders and politics. That it can cross bridges and break barriers between people from different nations.

After this first successful edition of ‘I run Iran’ an even more challenging idea came up. Why not organize a second one in Tehran? The idea of this First Tehran International Marathon also dubbed TehRUN was born. And what would be nicer than to have runners from all nations encompass the Azadi monument, symbol of 2500 years of Persian culture and history. Supported by many Tehrani along the way and being broadcasted into the homes of 80 million Iranians. Inspiring street running to a young and dynamic Persian population.

A start needs a finish. Also, when the road is full of obstacles. Organizing a marathon in Iran has proven to be a tedious task. Getting permits and local support, promoting the event, runners registration, international payment restrictions, travel assistance, street traffic control, securing the streets. To name a few of the challenges. Constrained by a limited budget, a small taskforce and a challenging political climate we did it!

I run Iran would not be possible without the support of my local I run Iran team, the Iranian Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Tehran Mayor Office, Maral tours, the Amateur Athletic Federation of Iran (IRIAAF), Cultural Heritage and Tourism organization and many others.

The 7th of April 2017 at 7 AM (Tehran Local Time) the most international sport event of Iran in years took place. With more than 450 runners runners from over 43 different countries. Despite the absence of many motivated UK and US runners who were eager to come and other shortcomings for which I sincerely apologize, together we have made steps towards a brighter future!

Sebastiaan Straten

Iran Silk Road

Organizer I run Iran