Only one woman has been allowed to represent Iran in triathlons. Her name is Shirin Gerami, and this weekend the athlete faces her biggest test yet.

First, she’ll swim 2.4 miles in choppy water. Then, she’ll bike 112 miles. She’ll top off the race with a full marathon, on a road that crosses a landscape described as “barren lava fields.”

It’s the Ironman World Championship on October 8 in Kona, Hawaii, and it’s notorious for 40-mile-an-hour winds and 90-degree heat.

Most competitors wear some version of a leotard or a swimsuit. But Shirin Gerami will do the whole thing in a hijab. That’s what the Iran Triathlon Federation has required for her to represent them.

She’s Determined To Be A Triathlete, Even If It Means Wearing A Hijab

Photo: Huw Fairclough

Covered From Head To Toe, She Finished The Ironman

She did it! Shirin Gerami completed the Ironman World Championship in 13 hours and 11 minutes. “It was an absolutely beautiful race,” she says. “I was able to do one of the toughest endurance challenges in the world while being covered.”

She was at the seamstress the day before the race tinkering with pockets and flaps, and the outfits felt a little heavy during the race. But it’s a good starting point.

“In the future, I want these clothes to be accessible to everyone.” And, she says, she wants to improve as an athlete. How? “Faster, stronger.”

Read the rest of the story at the link.