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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Nov-17 > THE WOMEN WHO RISK EVERYTHING TO RUN

THE WOMEN WHO RISK EVERYTHING TO RUN

IN THE WESTERN WORLD, WE OFTEN TAKE OUR FREEDOM TO RUN FOR GRANTED. BUT IN OTHER NATIONS AND CULTURES, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS STILL VERY MUCH OFF LIMITS FOR WOMEN. MEET THREE COURAGEOUS RUNNERS WHO ARE PEACEFULLY PROMOTING POSITIVE CHANGE, SOMETIMES RISKING EVERYTHING FOR THEIR RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORT

Whether we realise it or not, as women who run, we make a powerful statement about who we are and what we’re capable of every time we exercise. A quick glance back to the not-so-distant past proves just how much women have battled stereotypes and male-domination within sport. Just 50 years ago, for example, women were banned from marathons because we were deemed too fragile. Trailblazers, including Kathrine Switzer (who became the first woman to officially run the all-male Boston Marathon in 1967), fearlessly pushed the boundaries of what was considered appropriate for female runners, paving the way for more of us to compete freely.

However, while we are now afforded freedom to run in Western cultures, restrictions are still very much in place for women wanting to participate in other nations around the world.

Stephanie Case, founder of Free To Run (freetorun.org), is passionate about removing global stereotypes. A human rights lawyer, Stephanie moved to Afghanistan in 2012, where she experienced first-hand just how difficult it was to train under extreme physical conditions. “I began to appreciate how integral running was to my wellbeing, self-confidence and sense of self,” she says. Determined to keep running, she started training for three ultramarathons, to raise money for a shelter in Kabul for women who had suffered domestic violence.

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About Women’s Running

Get inspired with our November issue of Women’s Running. Read our exclusive interview with cover star Chrissie Wellington, who shares her journey from amateur athlete to becoming four-time World Ironman Champion. Turn to page 48 and you’ll discover how you too can take your running to the next level – find out how one woman approached her first ultra and get all the tips you’ll need to up your distance. Struggling to find time to run for half an hour a week, never mind train for an ultra? No problem. We’ve got some great time-efficient sessions for women with manic lives. If running is strictly off limits for you at the moment due to injury, try our three cross-training plans to keep you sane – and your fitness up – while you recover. And if speed is your focus this autumn, don’t miss our expert advice on getting faster, as we show you how to find your top gear. Enjoy all this, plus all of the usual kit picks, inspiration, recipes, workouts and more!
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