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At 7:30 Sunday morning, the Orient Queen cruise ship, docked at the Beirut Port, blasted its foghorn, signaling the start of the 2019 Women's Race. Off went hundreds of women and children, their sneakers laced, braving the rain to participate in the classic, relay and para-athlete 10-kilometer races, as well as a 2-kilometer parent-child race and a 5-kilometer fun run.Lea Iskandar, who is Lebanese, won the 10-kilometer race, setting a new record time of 37 minutes and 39 seconds.In the para-athlete races, French national Marie-Noelle Japy topped the hand-cycle category with a time of 25 minutes and 30 seconds, Lebanese national Fatima Daaboul won the wheelchair category in 65 minutes and 48 seconds, and Lebanese national Kawthar Taleb took home the trophy for the visually impaired category with a time of 66 minutes and 28 seconds.Sunday's race allowed runners to do more than show off their sporting prowess.Although about 5,000 women were expected to compete in the race, in the end Khalil said about 1,000 women ran the 10 kilometer race -- perhaps a result of the morning's heavy rainfall.
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