Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 45
Hitting Stride in
Compiled by Caroline Hill & Lynne Reddington
IN A FITTING CELEBRATION
of female runners, the Pagoda Pacers
has teamed up with Women2Women
to welcome Kathrine Switzer to Berks
County. Switzer's groundbreaking run of
the Boston Marathon in 1967 has paved
the way for legions of Berks County
female runners to join the ranks of the
male dominated sport.
Whether a trail runner, a road runner, or
one who enjoys both, Pacer members'
ability levels range from the walk/
runners to the highly competitive. The
beauty of membership is that you are
always able to find someone who runs
at your pace or is willing to help you
arrive at the next level of ability or
competition. We've invited a few of our
strongest women trail and road runners
to share their stories about their style,
their passion, and how the Pagoda Pacer
organization has helped them achieve
their running goals.
Each of these women embodies a
balance of stamina and grace. They
are true athletes who share not only
a passion for running, but a heartfelt
commitment to the Pagoda Pacer organization. The Pacers have touched the
lives of each of these women and they
credit much of their running success to
their involvement in the club. Beyond
Elaine Wilson Cook, Age 51, Berks County
Have you ever run The Boston Marathon?
I ran Boston in 2014, the year after the bombings. I narrowly
missed qualifying in 2013, and the bombs went off in my finishing
time range, so my family and I were pretty freaked out imagining
what it would have been like had we been there. The 2014 race was
extremely high security, and everything was very emotional. Many
references to victims, the very moving exhibit which was located in
the library - close to the finish line, and the overwhelming feeling
turning onto Boylston St. and seeing the huge crowds and picturing
the chaos of the previous year.
What was your toughest race?
My toughest race was every one of the six road marathons I've run
because those races were all about time and every mile I ran faster
than my comfort zone. The last 8 miles are always a "suffer fest."
the physicality of
running, the social
and emotional fulfillment they derive
in the social and
that the Pacers host
by any other outlet. Membership
in the Pagoda Pacers is open to all
fitness enthusiasts, from beginner
through advanced. For more information about the Pagoda Pacers visit
The six were: Philadelphia Marathon, New Brunswick, VIA & DNL
both in Lehigh Valley, Erie and Boston.
Any favorite places to run?
I love running trails from the Hamburg Reservoir for the views and
wildlife, and for the difficulty of the climbs.
How has running with the Pacers helped you?
Running with the Pacers has made me a much tougher runner, and
as follows naturally a tougher, more resilient person. I've been able to
conquer challenges that were inconceivable a few years ago because of
the encouragement from the club, even though I'm at an age where
we're kind of expected to slow down. Having a "tribe" makes hard
things fun and fun things better! The joy and confidence and good
health that come from running achievements all make me a better
teacher, a better mom, and a better wife.
Continued on page 46