I love the way running provides opportunities for expanding your horizons. I’ve explored the UK taking part in 10ks and half marathons and I’ve travelled to Mallorca and Reykjavik to run marathons. My 261Fearless running club hosted our Austrian club colleagues earlier this year; a chance to mix ideas and cultures, learn from one another and run together. Now I find myself in Boston, in the Fall, again as part of 261Fearless. We’re here training women to be club leaders and Master Coaches. It’s an exciting opportunity for me discover Boston but also to see the power that running and 261Fearless has to unite women all over the world. When so much of our daily news is negative and crammed full of inequalities and racial divisions, it’s wonderful to be working on something so positive, empowering and all-inclusive. This is a little photographic tour of my trip so far…
I’m already in love with Boston. To me it feels like the home of women’s running. It’s where Kathrine Switzer started our marathon journey back in 1967 with the bib number 261 pinned to her chest. From this slice of history the 261Fearless movement was born.
Yesterday I had the day off and explored Boston with Renata, the leader of 261 Club Sao Paolo in Brazil.
We followed The Freedom Trail, a red bricked path that leads you round the major historical landmarks in the city and a great way to learn about the Colonial and Revolutionary history and explore Boston at the same time.
One highlight of the route for me was the Massachusetts State House with its 23-carat gold leaf dome.
You can’t fail to be impressed by the grandeur of the interior too. I love to look up and examine the ceilings in these historic buildings.
I enjoyed the Women’s Memorial with a piece of artwork called ‘Hear Us’ which honours six women who have made significant contributions to Massachusetts government. I couldn’t help but think these women might approve of our Fearless mission.
I was struck by the wonderful mix of old and new in this city. Here you can see the contrast between the Old State House Museum with its gleaming gold lion and unicorn, built in 1713, and the modern block behind it.
I don’t think there can be a better time to visit Boston than the Fall when the leaves are such wonderful colours, the air is crisp and Halloween displays abound.
The colours matched only by the toffee apples in Quincy Market!
The perfect reward after climbing the 294 steps to the top of Bunker Hill monument. Mind you, the city views from the top were a reward in themselves!
Boston is also the headquarters of Reebok who have become global sponsors of 261Fearless. What an amazing partnership this is going to be! We were lucky enough to visit the Reebok campus and were shown around, including a visit to the shop. I am seriously going to have to buy an extra case before I return home, I love their gear! It’s such an impressive place and I have to admit to a serious dose of envy for those that work there with the incredible facilities – a gym, basketball court, outdoor track etc with training sessions at intervals throughout the day. Talk about creating a healthy workforce!
It’s not all been ‘play’ here, there’s been plenty of work too. The courses are going really well and it’s so exciting to be training up Master Coaches who will in time be able to Train the Trainers and help the movement to spread even further around the globe. The local NBC news channel came to film us as excitement is building for April next year when Kathrine Switzer will run the Boston Marathon again, 50 years after that historic run when she was nearly ejected from the course. I needed all my fearlessness for this interview!
So, you can see, it’s been a really action packed, exciting trip so far and today we start a new course for club leaders which means a new group of women from all over the USA to get to know. I can’t wait to hear their stories and help equip them with the skills they need to start their own 261 clubs.
I’ll keep you posted on the 261Fearless movement but if you’re interested in starting a club in your area do pop over to the website to explore and submit an application. You can also find out how you could be on the Boston Marathon start line in April with Kathrine Switzer too.
(photo credit for featured image and NBC filming – Horst Von Bohlen)