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Women and Running

In 1988, the San Francisco Marathon was canceled due to lack of interest. This year things were decidedly different. On the 29th of July, 6,500 people ran 26.2 miles around SF and 8,500 ran half marathons, with a portion of both races crossing the Golden Gate bridge. I would say interest is not lacking. Running is back, and one of the main reasons is that more and more women are running and running in races. In fact, in the SF marathon 50% of the runners were women. I am woman, watch me run!

Running has bounced back, and one reason is that training for marathons is no longer considered a full time job. Most marathoners only run about 40 miles per week, which sounds like a lot to me, but in the 80s the average marathoner put in 80 plus miles. Women often belong to running groups, so training time doubles as social time and running in races doubles as girls' weekend away time. We are the more social sex they say. Running officials think that Oprah's participation in a marathon in the mid 90s was a pivotal moment for the average woman's attitude on endurance races. Non-athletes could participate, and finish times didn't need to be under 4 hours.

How about you? Planning a marathon weekend away with your BFF?

Join The Conversation
StacyIrene StacyIrene 9 years
I miss my running time since I've had kid in the last few years. I don't have as much time to stay in shape so it's not as enjoyable. I used to love getting on the treadmill for a long run or running in races. I even did a triathlon once. I would love to do a marathon one day!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
wow bethiesny, well done, that sounds amazing! i just ran my first 5k this past weekend and am now absolutely addicted to running, especially since I worked out pretty hard before to make sure I'd run the whole race :) but whether you run or walk, it's a great thing to particpate in and it does loads for your self-esteem as well. i want to do another 5k soon and work my way up to a 10k, until i can do a half-marathon. my best friend is an avid runner, so it's always inspiring to watch her train and listen to her stories!
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
i'm doing the san jose rock-n-roll half marathon in october, but i'm going it solo.
smile3laugh8live smile3laugh8live 9 years
I have learned to HEART running. I've finished a 10K in an hour and was really proud that I finished. I love running so, it sucks that I've had shin spints and have to take time off! :(
bethiesny bethiesny 9 years
I'm participating in my first half marathon in September... but I'll be walking it, not running. I've been overweight all my life, have lost 70 lbs, and am working my way up to running slowly but surely (or maybe not, in which case I'll be an endurance walker!). One of my best friends is a marathoner (she completed Boston last year), and she's flying up from Texas (I'm in NY) so we can make a girls' weekend of the marathon. Yay!
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
I can see why people find Oprah...annoying. I go back and forth on her, to be honest.
Buffy2103 Buffy2103 9 years
I have run 5 marathons in the past 3 years and have 2 more coming up this fall. I am planning to run the Twin Cities Marathon in October and the Philadelphia Marathon in November. (I grew up in Minneapolis and I now live in Philly, so I'm excited to run in both my past and present places of residence.) My greatest running accomplishments thus far have been running a 3:30:00 marathon time and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I think that running and racing are great ways to stay in shape and whether you are running a 5K, a marathon or an Endurance 100 Miler, the accomplishment of finishing any race is a great feeling. I encourage anyone who is interested to find a race in your area and train for, and run it. You may become addicted, but it is a great feeling!
ktacce ktacce 9 years
I ran a 5k my last semester of college (which was just this spring) and while it wasn't fun while I was doing it, I was SO proud afterwards! especially to run it in a really great time! So it's fabulous to be able to participate in something like running that makes you feel fab. ALSO - running is one of the only sports where women make as much as men - but only because the race winnings are just given to whoever wins and if women win they earn just as much as men.
syako syako 9 years
good luck with your 5k. It's a great feeling to complete a race. Oprah annoys the crap out of me, so that's why I'm not inspired.
Historygal3 Historygal3 9 years
My husband and I are running the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in August. It will be the first for both of us.
oriav9 oriav9 9 years
I lived in SF & watched this run last year. It was so emotional to see all these women running. You go girls!!!!!!!!!!! :)
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
I'm going to run my first 5k in a few weeks. I'm excited! After that, who knows what? And yes, watching a middle-aged Oprah train for and finish 26.2 did inspire me. After all, if she can do it...
syako syako 9 years
um, oprah? inspiring me to run? not so much.
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