Sunday, March 25, 2007

Running

Ok. I'll admit. I went running yesterday. But in the spirit of women's history month, I'd like to thank society for allowing women to run long distance (if they'd like to).

Quick history lesson:
Early twentieth century mindset felt that running long distances would cause a woman's ovaries to "fall." I personally don't know what that would entail, but pretty much, running was believed to harm the reproductive system. In 1926, Violet Piercy ran a marathon in 3:40.32. Then, in 1928, the women's marathon was added as an Olympic event. However, when 3 of the runners collapsed at the finish line, the media played this up to 5, 8 women, barely making it to the line because of exhaustion. After this, the women's marathon was not an Olympic event until 1984.

In my opinion, the most significant figure in the history of women's running is Kathrine Switzer and the upset she caused at the Boston marathon in 1967. Read the story on the page I linked her name too, the Boston marathon part is about half way down the page, where you can see pictures of her running while Jock Semple attacks her from behind, grabbing her shirt, to get her out of the race. He boyfriend is also picture there, body slamming Semple out of the way.

Now we would think it crazy to believe that women can't run long distances. In fact, at the Rex Lee Run yesterday, more women ran the race than men. Every time I go running, I like to imagine it's the 1950s and how at that point in history, running was a faux pas. It's like stickin' it to the man every time I go running. Maybe I like running because of its historical significance for women and not because running is fun. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the reason.

1 comment:

  1. I'm one of those believers that believes women can't run long distance... because I happen to be one of them! Haha! Just kidding. Back in my running days, I was able to increase my distance, but I had to be careful and take walking and stretching breaks each mile (otherwise I would get really bad shin-splints).

    Oh, and I was always slow. I've always been slow, so winning a race was always out of the question!

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