I'm honored, scared, excited and nervous to get to the start line of the 124th Boston Marathon, but as I have said before, start lines are only a small part of the story. The start line is the where, but it is the why that matters.
It is the why that fuels the hours of training.
It is the why that helps you push through those early morning runs; the training sessions that feel like you packed lead in your sneakers.
It is the why that makes those great runs even better.
Running helped me find my why.
Every mile run makes the why clearer. Every mile run puts another trail of footsteps down on to the pavement, on to the trail, on to the surface of our world to remind it that I am here. It is my why that, when we are so often told to be as small as possible, empowers me to take up space instead.
My running story would have been a much shorter one had it not been for the small community of women runners who helped to nourish it at the beginning and at critical points along the way. I'm proud to be running with 261 Fearless Team, who takes that support and encouragement of women and their stories as its driving focus.
261 Fearless, Inc. is a global non-profit organization founded by running pioneer Kathrine Switzer. 261 Fearless uses running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through education opportunities, the creation of local 261 running clubs, communication platforms and events.
Our 261 Fearless Mission:
· To empower women through running
· To inspire, motivate and educate women globally, helping them find the joy of running through our non-competitive, judgment-free 261 running program
· To help provide running opportunities for women, independent of social, religious or geographical background
· To bring women around the world together through a supportive network and share strength with each other
Through these actions, 261 Fearless breaks down the barriers of geography and creates a global community for women runners of all abilities to support and talk to each other, encouraging healthy living and a positive sense of self and fearlessness.
To empower women, education is key. 261 Fearless, Inc. uses the funds raised to educate women throughout the world to become certified 261 Fearless Coaches, continuously providing them with high quality training and support. In addition, funds are used to:
· support certified 261 Coaches to establish and operate local 261 Clubs where they bring the 261 Fearless mission to their communities, supporting women as they take their first steps in running. These local clubs help women find their joy in running, live a healthy life, become empowered and raise their self-esteem through running.
· provide virtual and real networking opportunities – events, conventions and/or gatherings - for 261 community members to exchange and learn from each other, in turn breaking down barriers to help them be fearless.
Our main goal is to bring our 261 Education Program and 261 Club Model of social, non-competitive running to women all over the world, especially to those who still live in fearful situations. The creation of 261 communities for women leads to positive and fearless transformations.
Learn more about 261 Fearless at www.261fearless.org
Thank you for supporting the 261 Fearless community!