When Kiran Gandhi realised she was going to be on her period on the day of her first ever marathon, she decided to do something unexpected â€“ she ran the entire marathon free-bleeding.
The 26-year-old, who recently wrapped up a concert tour as a drummer for M.I.A. and got her MBA from Harvard Business School, almost backed out of the marathon, but then decided to run â€” free-bleeding the whole way through and finishing in 4:49:11. She trained for a year to complete the London Marathon in April.
She said she made her decision to â€œrun freeâ€ and not wear a tampon because she wanted to wanted to highlight how women are often shamed for having their period.
In a blog about her experience, she said: â€˜I decided to just to take some midol, hope I wouldnâ€™t cramp, bleed freely and just run.”
“If thereâ€™s one person society canâ€™t eff with, itâ€™s a marathon runner. You canâ€™t tell a marathon runner to clean themselves up,” wrote Kiran, though it’s her first marathon.
Kiran decided to use the experience to raise awareness of women “who donâ€™t have access to tampons and despite cramping and pain, hide it away like it doesnâ€™t exist.”
Following the race, Gandhi proudly posed for photos with her friends and family in her stained running outfit.
â€œIf thereâ€™s one way to transcend oppression, itâ€™s to run in a marathon in whatever way you want,â€ she wrote of the experience. We couldnâ€™t agree with this sentiment more.