Apr 16 2012
Workers' Fund Iran has a proud history of taking part in / organising sporting events to raise fund to reduce and relieve poverty among Iranain workers (both employed and unemployed).
Perhaps the ultimate Workers' Fund tradition is marathon running. The last event was in Berlin last September, where well over 500 Euros were raised. This year, 40 WFI runners will be pounding the streets of ‘Red Vienna’ in the name of international solidarity.
A small squad of us in Britain registered for the Vienna marathon. We've battled the weather, training through the winter’s high winds, cold and rain. We’ve sustained injury (as all of us have damaged ourselves at some point through running stupid distances). Now, with less than three weeks to go we’re all hoping to make it intact to the finish line (my personal goal is not get overtaken by a 70 year-old dressed as a chicken) with a pint of Austria’s finest beer glowing in the sky like a Monty Python style Holy Grail animation. Though we are looking forward to March 15th (albeit with trepidation!), I think it’s a safe assertion that we’re all really looking forward to March 16th when this is all over (as, I’m sure, are our friends, colleagues, family, etc, who we’ve bored to death with our running tales).
There are important lessons to be learned from this experience (not least, don’t mix isotonic sports drinks with energy gels). By taking part in events that involve active solidarity there is a sense of being a part of something, whether that’s through training and competing with each other (in a comradely fashion, of course). Through comrades organising meals for the runners, organising meetings and events around the marathon or planning walking tours exploring the history of Red Vienna. It’s fair to say those who are running and those who are flying across to support us are very much immersed in the event. In essence, our comrades have put in blood sweat and tear (some of us quite literally). We are now asking for your support. With two and a half weeks to go, we need all the sponsorship we can get. So comrades, dig deep! Think of those hours of pounding the pavements and parks; though sleet, snow and iliotibial band syndrome… The most important lesson, of course, is that it is both possible and urgently necessary for the working class to organise solidarity withn the Iranian people who are fighting the threat of war and sanctions on one front and the Iranian theoracy on another./
Active & Health – Running