Martin Parnell Offers Inspiration for QCM
This year’s Queen City Marathon is going virtual. This is a huge change for the local running community, but the spirit of the event continues. Marathons are all about determination and inspiration through adversity. That’s why Regina Public Library is having Martin Parnell, author of The Secret Marathon, for an online talk via Zoom on September 9.
In 2016, Martin Parnell went on a journey that many believed was madness: running a marathon in Afghanistan in a quest to fight for women's rights and gender equality. Of course, this was not the first time he had been called crazy. He had run 250 marathons in one year, set five Guinness World Records in endurance events, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours and run 1,000 kms around the coast of England in 25 days.
Those endeavours were part of his 5 year “Quest for Kids” initiative, which raised $1.3-million for the humanitarian organization Right To Play and gave the gift of hope to over 27,000 children around the world. It was while recovering from a rare and life-threatening blood clot on his brain that Martin had read about Zainab, the first woman to run a marathon in Afghanistan. He was so inspired by her story that he decided that if he was able to recover from his illness he would run with her at the next "Marathon of Afghanistan" in support of rights for girls and women. Over the next 12 months he slowly built up his running and in July 2016 he ran the Calgary marathon.
Three months later he was heading to Afghanistan. In The Secret Marathon, you will be transported to a country of beauty, hardship and complexity, sharing in the despair, resilience and friendliness of the Afghan people as they strive for freedom and equality for themselves and their fellow citizens.
A film was made about this inspiring story, and RPL Film Theatre will be screening it for free on September 9 and 12.