We believe in a world in which we can all run free. We aren’t there yet. Racism, misogyny, discrimination and poverty make it so that only some of us can safely run down the street. Examples abound. Take the 150% rise in Asian American hate crimes in 2020 or the 84% of women runners who reported being harassed while running last year – and you quickly realize scores of Americans fear simply lacing up their running shoes. A Black man was murdered by two white men in Georgia while jogging down the street. And if you look deeper, you’ll find more reasons we aren’t all free to run. Gender and racial pay gaps contribute to income inequality, which means only...
For centuries women have suffered unequal treatment in the sporting world. Women were told marathon running could harm their reproductive capabilities; that they were too weak and fragile to run.
Women ran anyways. Even if it meant entering races with their initials so they wouldn’t be identified as female. Even if it meant hiding at the start line and jumping in after the gun went off. Even if it meant sitting at the start line in protest.
A couple months ago I heard Ahmaud Arbery’s name for the first time. A Black man murdered while jogging in a White Georgia neighborhood. As a runner and a mother, I watched the story unfold on tv and spent weeks glued to CNN hoping for justice. I sought out unfamiliar running routes to clear my head.