Secret 3K - Unlocking the Power of Women and Girls

Posted by martin.parnell |
Secret 3K - Unlocking the Power of Women and Girls

On March 8th at 3.15pm I lined up outside Ecole Notre Dame des Vallees School in Cochrane, Alberta with 77 students, teachers and parents. We were all there for the 6th Secret 3k Run / Walk. This school has participated every year and as we counted down from 10 we headed off along the pathways of the mighty Bow River. 

A little bit of background on this event. In 2015 for the first time ever, a marathon was held in Afghanistan, a marathon that both men and women were able to participate in but they had to keep it a secret. Why? There are still places in the world where women are not allowed to run or walk outside. However, a community in Afghanistan courageously carved out a new way forward for the next generation. By creating safe races they helped to create a safe place to run and walk. 

The day before the Cochrane School visit, Kate McKenzie, co-founder of the Secret 3k and I visited Windsong Heights School in Airdrie and after talking to the students completed the Secret 3k with them. On the evening of March 8th I headed into Calgary and completed another Secret 3k. The wind was biting cold but everyone was in good spirits as they ran and walked along the pathways under the lights in Calgary. A little earlier in Ottawa, daughter Kristina with partner Josh and grand boys Nathan and Matthew did their Secret 3k along the Rideau Canal earning hot chocolate and cookies. 

The event took place across Canada and around the world with 1,200 participants plus 31 School and youth groups from 11 countries. In fact over the 6 years that the event has been going there have been participants from 27 countries involved. This year was a record for fundraising with $30,000 going to the Afghan Sports Trust, 261 Fearless, an organization founded by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. 

It’s never too early to look ahead to the 7th Secret 3k. This will take place on Wednesday March 6th 2024. I went on the registration site ( ) this morning. You can choose to register for one of the marquee sites across Canada or have a virtual event with you and your friends anywhere in the world. There is also Secret 3k gear and you can donate to one of the partner charities. 

So why not join us for the 7th Secret 3k and together we can make a difference by empowering women and girls through education and sport.

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