Maggie Rusch

Professional Triathlete

runs like a girl

within a week's span: Jezebel's take on the New York times article on Julia Chase-Brand, accompanied by David Willey's portrait of Grete Waitz. all are lovingly-written articles on how these two women defied gender norms and the expectations of their friends and families to pave their own paths in life. i highly recommend the above reads as these women are true heroes and women we all—guys and gals alike—should look to for inspiration.

what i find most ironic, however, is that this flood of articles celebrating the pioneers of the female running movement comes just one month after the shortsighted decision by the IAAF to discount any records set by female runners who were racing with men at the time. meaning that Paul Radcliffe has been stripped of an almost decade-old record because.... what, she was too good? she ran with the boys? should we not count any of Chrissie Wellington's  triathlon times because she ran a faster marathon split? can i not count my high school track times because i practiced with the boys' team?

honestly, the decision is ferociously discriminatory for a few reason: 1) the lack of female-only races 2) the fact that men can run with better men and still claim new records 3) that men and women alike regularly use "rabbits" from the 1500m to the Marathon who set a blazing pace for others before eventually fading and dropping out.

but back to Julia Chase-Brand:

“Chris was the mother of a toddler,” Chase-Brand said. “Dianne was a high school student who was a dancer; she was wearing a gym suit with bloomers. If you were trying to beat a stereotype, you couldn’t have cast it better.”

in honor of the women who defied expectations and to rebel against the ridiculous IAAF rules, i may have to break out my lone lululemon running skirt and the brightest pink top i own for this weekend's road race... oh, and maybe i'll throw in a high pony with a giant bow to top it off—and you can bet that i'll make it my goal to outrun every guy out there that i can.

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