Today is International Women’s Day and that’s something taken seriously among runners across the globe. The running community itself has seen many incredible moments from female runners down through the decades. For feminist runners, the name Kathrine Switzer is one of the most powerful names in running. Switzer became the first woman to race Boston in 1967. She registered under “KV Switzer” rather than Kathrine and ran despite the “men’s only” rules. She even defied the race director when he tried to remove her from the course. But those who run for women today aren’t just celebrating female racing history. Many are using it to better the situation’s of women across the world. Here are some amazing things that runners across the world did today for International Women’s Day:
261 WM Women’s Marathon & 10K
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Women who raced in Spain today honored KV Switzer by naming the run after her 1967 Boston bib number. Finishers get a gift when crossing the finish and winners get invited to be guests at next year’s event. This is a race that celebrates women’s right to be a part of the marathon scene and of course, it’s a big thank-you to Switzer. Check out the video below to hear her words to runners.
International Women’s Day Fun Run
This is an event for runners of all abilities. This year’s 5K fun run was the 24th event with 10,000 women participating. This is a charity run to raise money for women with breast cancer. Proceeds raised go to Mater Chicks in Pink charity.
Beyond Zero Campaign
The Beyond Zero Campaign is an initiative taken on by Margaret Kenyatta, Kenya’s First Lady. Its target is to lower maternal and child mortality rates in the country. That’s especially important considering Kenya’s maternal mortality rate: 488 deaths for every 100,000 births. As part of the UN Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Kenya had committed to lowering the mortality rate to 147.
Today, as part of the campaign, runners ran a half marathon raising funds for maternal and newborn health. The is the second event with participation doubling from last year. About 20,000 athletes took part. Among them was elites Abel Kirui and Lorna Kiplagat. There was also a 10K race. Both men and women raced. Here’s footage of the run:
This event organized by the Singapore Athletics Association celebrates female empowerment and including women in athletics. The course was a 5K with an 800m option open to young girls. Top finishers in each category took home $300. Here’s what the start line looked like: