12:55 GMT +322 November 2019
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    Female motocross at a racetrack near the village of Baraghan, some 19 miles (30 kilometers) west of the capital Tehran, Iran

    Iranian Lady Racer Proves Motocross is Not Just for Men (VIDEO)

    © AP Photo / Vahid Salemi
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    Baran Hadizadeh, who is among the first generation of female motorcycle racers in Iran, is heading to the top of the motocross world, inspiring many other Muslim women to go in for male dominated sports.

    Baran, a 30-year-old woman from Isfahan, southern Iran, is now a highly skilled bike rider. However, she doesn't even have a license from the Motorcycle and Automobile Federation of the Islamic Republic of Iran (MAFIRI), as long as Iranian women cannot legally drive a bike on the streets. No, Baran is not breaking the law; she rides her bike on enclosed off-road circuits, as she is a motocross racer.

    The woman admits falling in love with the sport when she a race for the first time on TV. "For a year and a half, without missing a beat, I went to motorbike racing tracks to watch men's races," she told Tehran Times.

    Since then Baran has been dedicating all her time and strength to motocross for five years so far, and it hasn't all been plain sailing.

    She spends almost every training on the tracks of the Azadi Sports Complex on the outskirts of Tehran. But before being allowed to use the facilities, she went through a huge dispute with MAFIRI, and in so doing paved the way for other ladies in motocross. Now, thanks to Hadizadeh's efforts, Iranian women are officially allowed to use the standard motocross track at this complex.

    Motocross is a physically demanding sport, so Baran works out three or four times a week in the gym, training particular groups of muscles, and keeps a strict diet.

    Hadizadeh is not a newbie in sports: since her childhood she was involved in volleyball, swimming, karate and even alpine climbing. But none of those activities captured her heart and mind as much as motocross did. "All my sorrow is left behind once I get on my bike," the female racer said.

    Even though she has broken her bones and received some other injuries in practice, Baran said she has never regretted her choice. "Dreams don't come true easy," she said. "They take a lot of sweat and perseverance."

    Hadizadeh now aims to become a professional instructor for other women interested in motocross. She also dreams of travelling across the globe on her bike. As for now, the female rider, who has already competed in few national races, is getting ready for an international competition.


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