Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 9

While much progress has been made with
all women's sports opportunities, running
organizations such as local groups GIRLS ON
THE RUN (for girls in grades 1st through
8), and the PACERS (for runners of all ages,
male and female) have expended a great deal of
effort to create a non-judgmental atmosphere
from which a strong sense of confidence,
self-esteem, and empowerment to the women
of our community can be developed, through
networking, camaraderie, and fellowship.
Again, it was not always this way, which begs
the questions, what has changed, how did this
happen, and who made it happen?
There are two important factors that impact
social and cultural change. First, change does
not happen overnight. Sometimes it takes
years, even decades of tireless and relentless
work. Second, it takes time to take root.
Someone must have the strength and courage
to break down the barrier first and be willing
to endure the cuts and bruises that go with it.
This year's keynote speaker, Kathrine Switzer,
fits the mold perfectly. She has profoundly
influenced change which has affected women
in general, the running community, and the
connection between the two. In Kathrine's own
words, "Running isn't just about running. It's
about the sense of empowerment you get from
going the distance. That empowerment can
help you succeed in so many other activities."
Kathrine Switzer first gained notoriety
from the 1967 Boston Marathon, when a race
director attempted to tear off her bib number
in mid race, a moment the media captured
50th anniversary
edition cover
of Kathrine
Switzer's memoir,
Marathon Woman.
(DaCapo Press 2017)

Kathrine Switzer first gained notoriety from the 1967
Boston Marathon, when a race director attempted
to tear off her bib number in mid race. the image
captured that day went on to be labeled as one of the
most significant photographs of the 20th Century.
HAGEN HOPKINS 2017

active females of virtually all ages have
become part of the landscape, but it hasn't
always been that way.

on film and went on to be labeled as one of
the most significant photographs of the 20th
Century and certainly as a milestone regarding
the history of American women. However,
that moment only represented one small
chapter in the long story of Kathrine's social
and cultural contributions. Since then, she
has worked relentlessly to influence changes
that have directly affected women of all ages,
and all walks of life, but particularly in the
women's sports arena. One could certainly
argue that Kathrine's efforts, along with other
pioneers like her, played a sizable role in the
passing of the historic piece of legislation we
now refer to as TITLE 9 in1972, by forcing
our society to ask the question, "If women
can indeed run long distance, what else can
they do?" As a journalist, TV commentator,
and highly influential advocate of women's
sports opportunities over the past 50 years,
Kathrine helped create and influence numerous
women's running events, including the Avon
Women's International Marathon. She was
closely involved with the New York City
Marathon during its early years.

Perhaps a lesser known fact about Kathrine
occurred in 1978. With juggling so many
projects at once, she came to the realization
that she could no longer continue her work
and train and compete at high levels. Kathrine
made what must have been a soul searching
and heart-wrenching decision to let go of her
own dreams and pursue a vision much larger
than herself - the inclusion of the women's
marathon into the Olympic games.
At the time, the criteria for the IOC to even
consider a new sport being added to the games
was for that sport to be contested in at least
25 countries and 3 continents. With that as
the end goal, Kathrine spent the next several
years traveling the world, and orchestrating the
creation of the Avon International Women's
running circuit, which at its peak, encompassed
27 countries in 5 continents, and involved
over one million women. In large part, the
success of that program ultimately lead to the
pinnacle of worldwide acceptance of women
into the realm of long distance running with
the debut of the women's marathon in the
1984 Los Angles Games.
berkswomen2women.com 9


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Women2Women - Fall 2017

Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 1
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 2
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 3
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 4
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 5
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 6
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 7
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 8
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 9
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 10
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 11
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 12
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 13
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 14
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 15
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 16
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 17
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 18
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 19
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 20
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 21
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 22
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Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 24
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 25
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Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 27
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 28
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 29
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 30
Women2Women - Fall 2017 - 31
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