Photos of women in Saudi Arabia taking part in its first such marathon at the weekend is going around, local media reported. In a progressive move, the highly conservative kingdom hosted its first 3 km (two-mile) race for women on Saturday (March 3) to boost female participation in sports.

This was the first time that such a marathon was organised for women, according to the Arab media.  Over 1,500 women participated in the event

People of the country got to see the landmark event. Around 2,000 women signed up for the run, a much higher than expected number which forced organisers to stop accepting participants. Hundreds of women runners dressed in traditional Islamic attire raced in the eastern Al-Ahsa region.

READ: Saudi Women Attend Football Game In Stadium For First Time

“The aim of the marathon is to promote running and introduce the concept of sports for all, for a healthier way of life,” Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya News quoted the marathon’s supervisor, Malek al-Mousa, as saying.

Interestingly, Mizna Al Nassar, the winner of the first women’s marathon in Saudi, said that of all goes well, she is planning to represent her country at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to reports. She also added that her family supports her in this passion and that there were no obstacles to participate in track competitions.

Also Read: Saudi Arabia Celebrates Its First Women’s Day

Nassar had earlier represented the kingdom at the Islamic solidarity games and the Arab games

This development came after Saudi officials announced women’s participation in the Riyadh international marathon next year. Sports authorities are set to organise another marathon for women in Mecca on April 6, pro-government Okaz newspaper reported.

READ: Saudi Arabia Opens Doors To Women-Only Gyms

READ: Saudi Arabia Opens First Car Showroom For Women

Also Read: Creating ‘inclusive’ fitness fashion: Arshiya Kherani of Sukoon

Read More Stories By Ria Das

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.