Many of you will know that I’ve been involved with the global women’s running network 261 Fearless for a few years now. I absolutely love it because I find it fulfilling, challenging and exciting too. It’s all about helping women to find support and empowerment through running. Now things are stepping up to another level!
What a week it’s been! I’m just back from a quick trip to Minnesota where I was teaching on the latest 261 Fearless Train the Trainer course. One thing that I can guarantee about these courses is that I will leave exhausted but also happy, inspired and motivated. There’s something very special about being with a bunch of women who want to do their bit to improve the world by helping other women to get active and start running. So much laughter, positivity and unity which is wonderful medicine in what feels like an increasingly divided world. So what happened in Minneapolis and how you can get involved and experience a little of this fearless magic? Running is a great way to see a new place so never having been to Minneapolis before I started with a sight-seeing run in the streets around my hotel (ps I can highly recommend the Westin Edina Galleria). It’s an active-person-friendly city and in many places there are separate paths for pedestrians and bikes which I think is a …
Marathon number six is only five weeks away for me now and it will be swiftly followed by number seven, five weeks after that. What I’ve learnt from my past marathons and current training is that me running a marathon is NOT just about me. Yes, I’m the one who has to put one foot in front of the other but this wouldn’t be possible without an enormous number of other people. It really is a team event. Here are some of the members of my team and how they’re helping me. I really wanted to give them a shout out and thank them because without them I wouldn’t be able to do this.
All of a sudden I find myself with two spring marathons in my diary this year. How did that happen? Well, I just couldn’t turn either one of them down, they’re both too good to miss. I mean, when you’re invited to run the Boston Marathon with Kathrine Switzer on her 50th anniversary race you simply don’t say no do you?! There’s quite literally a long road ahead but my training plan is well underway and is going well so far. I anticipated giving my absolute all in Boston and then not running another marathon until the autumn at the earliest….
Hurray! Finally, I can officially share my news that I’ll be running the Boston Marathon in April 2017. I’m delighted to be running as part of Team 261 Fearless Boston.
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…
On 17th April 2017 a special moment in history will be made. Kathrine Switzer will line up on the Boston Marathon start line with a bib number pinned onto her front. The same start line she stood on 50 years before in 1967. In that famous race, the race official tried to manhandle her off the course, simply because she was a woman. She ran on to the finish and began devoting her life to being an advocate for women in sport.
‘Can you be at my house at 4.45am in your running gear? We’re going on BBC Breakfast in the morning.’ It’s no wonder my running ladies thought this was some sort of Saturday afternoon prank call!
I feel a little stunned. Something really amazing happened the other weekend and I’m still slowly digesting it. I know I was part of something very special and I’m hoping that blogging about it will help me to really define exactly what occurred.
The U.K is an ‘uncomfortable’ place to live at the moment with divisions forming in all areas of society. It’s hard to stay positive amongst the chaos and concern. Sport can divide but also has an amazing power to unite. (Let’s not mention the football!) When we turned up to running club the morning after the #Brexit result there was a brief discussion how everyone had voted but we quickly moved on to some crazy running games and for one wonderful hour we moved and laughed and escaped the woes of the world. That’s what I love about 261Fearless, the ability it has to bring women of all backgrounds and beliefs together to enjoy running.