Today was the first Women Can Marathon, held just 10 minutes away from my house. When I first heard of it I obviously wanted to run it, but then the 100k came up which threw in to doubt as to whether I would be fit enough to run. I sat on the fence so long that entries were closed. Sometimes I think these things happen for a reason, so although I was disappointed I decided to get involved by marshalling.
Let me first tell you about Women Can.
Back in the 1960’s the furthest women could run in the Olympics was 800 metres. We could bare (or is it bear?) children, run a household and have careers, but deemed not strong enough to run more than two laps on a track. In 1967 Katherine Switzer, completed the Boston Marathon, but officials tried to drag her off the course. It took a further 17 years for women to be able to run a marathon in the Olympics. The thing I find most shocking about this is it happened in my life time. Not in the time of suffragettes, no nearly 50 years after we got the vote we were still considered as ‘fragile’ . This Women Can marathon was created to celebrate the 50 year anniversary and to raise money for a local playing field. Full, half and 10k options were available, Women only! (incidentally Katherine re ran Boston marathon just 20 minutes slower than she did 50 years ago!)
Today I gave back to a running community that I get so much from.
Back last December a lovely runner from Cornwall, took me from the end of a run to the start, a perfect stranger. Today I repaid that favour by picking up a perfect stranger who had come down for this marathon from Skye! I took her to the start, ensured she was registered and at the start, I cheered her on from my garden chair and deposited her back to her B&B. Debt paid in full.
The lovely lady from Cornwall was also on the run today, so pleased to see her, exchange a hug and send her on her way for the final 7 miles. Running community I love you.
Last week I was joined on my epic run, by fellow club members, their support was invaluable. Today I was support, I provided the jelly babies, carried the gels, did the cheering, took the photos and posted on social media. Support reciprocated.
This little blog reaches all kinds of people, some I know, most I don’t. Some are friends, some are friends of friends. The support I have received cyberley both before and after events, through good times and bad times has always been fantastic. I was totally thrilled to be greeted in the woods today by “Its Shazruns” totally stunned but so over the moon to receive a sweaty VLM Finisher 2017 (love that shirt) hug. Fantastic to meet a reader. Lovely to encourage her on to the second part of her half.
All in all I have had a lovely day, sat on a chair in the woods, telling people where to go! I am sure I would have loved the run, but it is important to give back, and today I have to say I had a blast.