Courtesy Kiran Gandhi
August 07, 2015 02:00 PM

There are few things a woman wants to do when on her period. Running a 26.2-mile marathon is definitely not one of them.

But Kiran Ghandi didn’t let a little blood stop her. She ran the London Marathon in April and she let her period flow freely.

“I ran the whole marathon with my period blood running down my legs,” the 26-year-old wrote of the race on her personal website

Ghandi, a Harvard Business School graduate and drummer for singer M.I.A, wrote that she got her period the night before the big race and thought that a tampon would be uncomfortable while she ran. But that isn’t the only reason she decided to let it flow.

“I ran with blood dripping down my legs for sisters who don’t have access to tampons and sisters who, despite cramping and pain, hide it away and pretend like it doesn’t exist.”

Kiran Ghandi (left) and fellow runners
Courtesy Kiran Ghandi

She added: “I ran to say, it does exist, and we overcome it every day.”

Clad in all pink for Breast Cancer awareness, the 26-year-old finished the race in four hours, 49 minutes and 11 seconds – bleeding the entire way. She told Cosmopolitan that she ran through the pain of cramps and the anxiety of the race (which she had spent a year preparing for) and felt empowered as she did so.

Kiran Gandhi (center) and fellow runners
Courtesy Kiran Gandhi

“I felt kind of like, Yeah! F— you!,” she said. “I felt very empowered by that. I did.”

After the race, she took photos with her family and friends, wearing her period-stained running pants proudly.

Ghandi tells PEOPLE that she decided to let it flow during the race to highlight the sentiment of period shaming and the language surrounding women’s menstrual cycles. She wrote on her site that “on the marathon course, sexism can be beaten.”

“If there’s one way to transcend oppression, it’s to run a marathon in whatever way you want,” she wrote. “Where the stigma of a woman’s period is irrelevant, and we can re-write the rules as we choose.

Kiran Gandhi
Courtesy Kiran Gandhi

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