How marathons can heal communities: 5 incredible stories

TED Blog

Yes, a marathon is about running 26.2 miles. But as May El-Khalil describes in today’s talk, a marathon can also be about so much more — a chance for people to come together and celebrate the human spirit.

[ted_talkteaser id=1812]El-Khalil is the founder of the Beirut Marathon and, in this talk, she describes how a personal tragedy led her to organize the first run as a way to channel her pain into something tangible. But she quickly realized that this marathon could also have healing power for her city, which for decades has teetered on the edge of war. In 2003, more than 6,000 runners gathered for the first Beirut marathon — all in white shirts, sans political messages, an incredible show of unity.

Ever since, through ebbs and flows in political turmoil, the Beirut Marathon has been a beacon. “Everybody wants to be a part of the marathon…

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