(Pictures: Kiran Gandhi)
A woman who completed the London Marathon on the first day of her period without a tampon has been hailed as an inspiration.
Kiran Gandhi, 26, from Boston, ran the race in April free-bleeding to highlight how women are often shamed for having their period, and to raise awareness of women who don’t have access to tampons.
Gandhi, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, has toured as a drummer with rapper M.I.A.
She had trained for a year for the race, which she ran in a time of 4 hours, 49 minutes and 11 seconds, raising £3,800 for Breast Cancer Care along with two friends who accompanied her around the 26.2-mile course.
In a blog post about the day, she wrote: “I got my flow the night before the London Marathon and it was extremely painful.
“I thought through my options. Running 26.2 miles with a wad of cotton material wedged between my legs just seemed so absurd.
“If there’s one person society can’t eff with, it’s a marathon runner. You can’t tell a marathoner to clean themselves up, or to prioritize the comfort of others.
“I decided to just take some Midol, hope I wouldn’t cramp, bleed freely and just run.”
Gandhi stopped at one point in the course to greet her watching father and brother. She said the marathon was a symbolic act.
She wrote: “Why not use it as a means to draw light to my sisters who don’t have access to tampons and, despite cramping and pain, hide it away like it doesn’t exist?
“And so I started bleeding freely. Everyone was running for their own personal mission. And all of a sudden it felt entirely appropriate that I got my period on marathon day.
“We ran for women who can’t show their periods in public and for women who can’t compete in athletic events.
“We ran for our friends who have suffered through period cramps at work and for women who have survived breast cancer.”
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