We all heard about Kiran Gandhi, the NRI who ran the 2015 London Marathon while bleeding freely to raise awareness against period taboos. After she shared her experience on her blog, it didn't take long for it to go viral and she soon became an Internet sensation.
While the Internet went crazy about her with some supporting her and some ridiculing her, there was one person who no one was talking about - the actual winner of the marathon - Tigast Tufa.
In support of Tufa, Clara Morris - a theatre performer from New York - wrote a response to Gandhi on aboveaverage.com talking about how Tufa did not get her due because of Gandhi.
Here's what Clara wrote verbatim:
Kiran Gandhi became an Internet sensation because she ran the 2015 London Marathon without a tampon. But you know who isn’t an internet sensation? Me. Tigist Tufa. Winner of the 2015 London Marathon. Gandhi stained her pants in public. I ran 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 23 minutes. That’s faster than most people could go on a bike. I called People Magazine asking for a feature, I even catered to them saying I’d talk about my fitness routine. But they just said, “Are you the tampon girl?” and I said, “No I’m the winner.” But they had already hung up on me. In Gandhi’s numerous magazine and blog interviews, she said she chose not to wear a tampon in order to fight sexism and erase the stigma about periods.
But do you know what fights sexism in an extremely tangible way? Running 26.2 miles faster than hundreds of men. Literally hundreds of men. Like me. That’s what I did. The only article about me on the internet is on RunnersWorld.com. Kiran Gandhi is trending on Facebook. Gandhi also said she went tampon-less to raise awareness for people who don’t have access to tampons. Great, great that’s really nice. Hard to find fault with that one. Except that, you know, I could raise awareness for important causes too. And I think it would carry a little bit more weight because I earned a platform to speak by accomplishing a feat of athleticism few human beings are capable of accomplishing. Last weekend I went to brunch with my sister-in-law and she asked me if I knew the tampon girl before she said congratulations. She asked me if I ever “get to” train with the tampon girl.
The tampon girl’s time was 4 hours and 49 minutes! That’s more than double my time! I don’t even understand how she could be so slow, did she take a break?! Yet she’s the face of the London Marathon?! No. No. That’s like a child playing cup-n-ball being the face of the NBA. Oh, and the child shat himself to break the stigma of shit being gross or something.
We salute both Gandhi and Tufa for having won in different ways. But are Clara's claims fair or is she just pissed because Gandhi stole Tufa's limelight? What do you think?
This article initially stated that the aforementioned letter was written by Tufa. The error has been rectified.