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Title 9: Running in the Footsteps of Giants

An official trying to forcibly remove Katherine Switzer from the Boston Marathon.

I love running. I love the way it makes me feel. Strong. Invincible. Free.

I take it for granted that I have always been allowed to participate in sports. I remember being on my very first softball team. Our colors were yellow and black. I was 7 and I was called "small fry." My position was right field. You know... where the ball never goes?

I remember physical education class, aka P.E., with Ms Teegarten in 8th grade. Yikes, she was mean. And, I remember running track in high school. Little did I know then that my body is built for distance, not speed. No wonder I always pooped out on the 400. (that's sprinting once around a standard 400 meter track)

Consider this: Title 9 was passed in 1972. I was 3. It wasn't until 1979 that the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under Jimmy Carter's administration issued a policy interpretation for Title IX, including what has become known as the "three-prong test" of an institution's compliance.

1. Prong one - Providing athletic opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment, OR
2. Prong two - Demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex, OR
3. Prong three - Full and effective accommodation of the interest and ability of underrepresented sex.

I was 3 when Title 9 passed, 7 when I played my first sport, and 10 when a policy interpretation was issued, which means that a lot changed for girls for the better in less than a decade. Crazy, huh?

I recently set a goal to run 2-half marathons in 2008. Originally I thought I would go for a full marathon, but I did just give birth to Jonah 4 months ago. And I am working full-time while caring for him.... okay, okay, I digress....

To keep myself motivated, I found a running partner, created a training schedule and signed up for an e-newsletter from Runners World (www.runnersworld.com). This week's e-newsletter covered the Boston Marathon. And it was there that I watched a video about Katherine Switzer.

It blows me away that I never heard of her before now. According to her website, "Katherine Switzer will always be best known as the woman who challenged the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon and became the first woman to officially enter and run the event. Her entry created an uproar and worldwide notoriety when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the competition.

Three decades later, the incident continues to capture the public imagination and is, in part, the reason Switzer has dedicated her multi-faceted career to creating opportunities and equal sport status for women.

That career has included creating programs in 27 countries for over 1 million women that led to the inclusion of the women's marathon as an official event in the Olympic Games, changing forever the face of sports, health and opportunities for women around the world."

Somedays I just know that I run in the footsteps of giants.

Comments

Since writing this, I've gotten serious about my running. If anyone wants to see my progress toward my two goals, check me me out at nikeplus!

http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/?l=runners,goals,887414989,1290154229

consolata's picture

Running my Hobby

Happy New Year Jennifer,
Wao! have happened to read this past post and i was really encouraged. I really do run at least 40 km in a week. I also participate in Charity runs which we group ourselves and get a founder. Will send you some of the photos. Actually we are now training for a Two Ocean Marathon to be held in Cape town. (Meet you there. )
I will be posting about this run on Pulse Wire soon since we are targeting to raise some money to go towards helping families we have seen they really need our help. We want also to help them become independent by buying each a cow and do Zero grazing to enable them tap the cow dug .
The cow dug will be collected to a built Biogas which will be used to cook. The waste from the Biogas will be directed to the shamba thus become fertile to do farming. This will ensure the family is well feed and make some extra cash for themselves.
We will educate the family members to ensure they have enough milk for themselves and sulplus for sale. Artificial Insermanation will be giving when required and God willing, after an year the family will have a extra calf for themselves. If the family is educated on how to feed the cows it means there will No be shortage of milk ,cow dug which produces gas and the waste directed to the shamba for farming.
This is a project i thought will enable most of the poor families to get back on their feet. When more fmilies are identified, we will be getting cows from the first beneficiaries especially those who have more than one. Project name--- HOPE PROJECT. Join us for this great Project!

I posted this to Bold Idea contest though didnt see it displayed. May be i messed up. All in all, i really want to work hard for HOPE PROJECT to succeed.

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Sole sista!

Just in case you weren't notified about my response!

http://www.worldpulse.com/node/1771#comment-2697

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

shiku steve's picture

I love runners

Cograts Jenniffer! welcome to the running world! I would say I love you because I love runners and running.I love the zeal,the valor and the fortitude runners potrays.running edify displine,reason most runners -if not all-are voted the most displined people.
Iam very passionate in running and I have infected my crazy hobby to many including my sister Consolata-womans hope.luckily I have a group I train with every Saturday which has heartened my training and enhanced endurance.I have participated in two full maraton-Nairobi marathon 2007 and 2008,and 4 half marathons,locally and internationally.We are currently training for 98km charity run-kILIMANJARO MARATHON -42km and THE TWO OCEANS ULTRA-56KM. We anticipate to raise KSHS.1 Million to be channeled to charity work(be our guest)If there was a way we would train together on net,we would train to attain your goal and our goal but in hearts we definitly will.
keep pacing on gal till the fininish line.

with
Love Shiku

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Sole sista!

Just in case you weren't notified by my response!

http://www.worldpulse.com/node/1771#comment-2697

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Sole sistas....

Consolata and Shiku,

happy new year! my apologies. my response to you has been slow... very reflective of my training since I posted this back in May '08. I was running consistently until July and then BAM! Nothing. Nada. Not even a mile.

it's now a new year and i have a new goal. if i can figure out how to get there, my goal is to run the marthon du medoc in france in september. this will be 3rd marathon and i'm very excited! i ran my kick off run today through the forest in the snow. it was spectacular.

When is your charity run!? how is your fundraising coming? please do send pictures! we must train virtually together.

with love from your SOLE sista!
jennifer

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

consolata's picture

Hi run-mate

Jennifer,i cant wait for the day we shall have those warms hugs. It is nice to meet people who shares this passion. I was introduced to it by Shiku and at first it felt like a burden waking at around 6am to go running wasnt ans is still not easy. I m encouraged by the charities works we are able to attend to. I made the fun of running when i told my running mates that every sweat should be translated to a coin which will buy an item for a needy person. Currently we have a group of 15 runners both men and women all with a common goal. To help a needy person. This started in 10 th oct 2008 when we visited Don Bosco street children.

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

$40K for 40K for 40 years

Consolata and Shiku!

I am officially registered for the Marathon du Medoc in Bordeaux, France! I hope to raise $40,000 for running 40K for every 40 years of my life!

The money will go to fund PulseWire and the voices on this site. Do you have a picture of you two running that could be my cause picture and my running inspiration?

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/231864?m=3124eff7

With love,
Jennifer

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

shiku steve's picture

great!

Hei Jennifer!
Your initiatve is great !I always say amarteur runners should run for a worthy course now that we dont run for a win.When is your run? do you have any timing or you just want to run and finish?concentrate on tempos and interval runs -they are such a push when it come to the actual race.Long runs are a must for endurance!
We did Kilimanjaro mararthon on 1st March and it was a real kill! We will send photos soonest.We have managed to raise $ 3,500 so far.our target is $ 18,750.We a have not received any response from the pulse wire community yet, but we trust by the time we do our last run,some one will have responded positively.
looking forward to hear more from you!
Cheers
Conso ans Shiku

with
Love Shiku

shiku steve's picture

pace on!

Hei Jenni
I do hope you did receive my reply on your post.Iam trying to send the photos but cant see any attach photo place.pls advice

with
Love Shiku

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

I skipped my run tonight...

It was rainy and cold and I was tired and lazy. You and Consolata will have to talk smack to each me to keep me in training line!

I have a thought and a suggestion:
Shall we start a Sole Sistas group on PulseWire, where we can writing about running for the empowerment of ourselves and others? I love what Consolata wrote about every drop of sweat is a cent.

For your photo, I suggest that you create a new post in your journal and upload your photo there. I'll keep my eye on your profile for a new journal entry. Let me know if this works.

Love,
Jennifer

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

How funny!

Right after I sent you my friend request, I read YOUR friend request in my inbox! What's making me laugh is that we said the same thing to each other in our personal messages. We truly are sole sistas.

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

shiku steve's picture

seriously funny!

I have just read your message and Iam like `eeh! wait a minute,what are we saying to each other' that was trully nice,think we have been running too much,till we have become one!I have skipped running for two days and it is dangerous! but tomorrow Iam up to 32km tun up and down hills in a group of friends!
The idea of creating a group is great! I love running and writing,Consolata too so ,there we go! running is so inspiring empowering and fulfilling especially for us who are sweating it out for the needy.I got alot of burns and ugly marks after doing my kilimanjaro marathon,but looking at them,add me strength and energy to keep pushing for change.
We need to change the attitude of those who believe running is only for winning at the finishing line,because runners win in so many ways! lets do it-sole sistas-running for change!

with
Love Shiku

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

Let's get the word out!

http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/7436

I made this OUR group. :-)

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

shiku steve's picture

This is great

This is great.We got to inspire,empower and keep our women on the heels.Out and run] it the only best sport I have known to
heal,uplift,keep you healthy and adventurous.Keeping fit in the gym works only for the body and mind but limit the eyes especially eager ones like ours.

with
Love Shiku

consolata's picture

Congrats dia

Hi dia, Know what? I got 40 in January and this tells me we have alot in common. At 40 many people believe one is Not strong enough to run Not after all the childern bearing. I am excited about the Sole Sistas group all about sweating it out for a better cause in our society.We have managed to have a very commited group that really work hard to see we meet the needs of needy girls we have identified. How do we do that? By contributing $5 each weekend we are learning. We have some friends who sometimes match what we have managed to raise. This goes to the kity and at the end of the month we are able to meet some basics needs for the needy girls especially in the slums. The Sole Sistas group will be an inspiring one. Hope it come up soon!
Regards age mate,
Consolata

Jennifer Ruwart's picture

It's done!

http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/groups/7436

I made this OUR group. :-)

Jennifer Ruwart
Chief Collaborator
JR Collaborations

consolata's picture

Where are we?

Jennifer, i am lost. i have tried and tried to invite people in our Sole sistas group invain. To Fund raise for our causes, i think we invite Friends to Sponsor the runners. I believe it will be an active group. Let me know what you think.
Sista,
Consolata

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