A Witness to Running History

I haven’t posted on here in FOREVER. It’s not that my life hasn’t been full of running adventures, quite the contrary actually. Last Sunday I had a front row seat to witness history being made as Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene both broke the 28-year old Canadian Women’s Marathon Record in 2:27:59 and 2:28:32 respectively at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Since I was working for the race, I was able to sneak in between all the photographers at the finish line and snap this pic.

lanni STWM

Canadian Women’s Marathon Record Holder, Lanni Marchant (2:27:59)

As a runner, a Canadian, and a woman, this moment was pretty special. The smile on Lanni’s face as she crossed the line was so big that you couldn’t help but smile (and cry) along with her. Lanni is my age which is just so crazy and awesome at the same time. Women and girls everywhere have a shiny, new role model who they can look up to. I’m currently reading Katherine Switzer’s autobiograpy “Marathon Woman” and it really is astonishing to think that just 46 years ago in 1967, when Katherine was training to run her first Boston Marathon, women’s running events didn’t go past 800m and the women’s marathon wasn’t even considered an Olympic sport! It would take 17 more years until the women’s marathon was included in the 1984 Olympics.

Today, when I think of my running role models, so many of them are women. There are the famous women runners I look up to like Lanni and Krista, Kara Goucher, and Lauren Fleshman. But more importantly there are the women runners that I am lucky enough to call my friends. These are the women that I talk to on a regular basis, who I run races with, who inspire me with their blog posts and training goals, and racing triumphs. They’re the women who continue the amazing tradition of women’s running that trailblazers like Katherine Switzer started for us 46 years ago.

Jen and STeph

With Stephanie after the Niagara Women’s Half-Marathon in 2012.

A lot of my running friends have blogs, so here are 3 of my favourites! I hope you find them as inspiring as I do.

1) Stephanie McAulay was one of my first running friends and just set a PB with a 3:53 marathon at Scotiabank last week! Stephanie is always challenging herself to new goals and she’s one of the toughest and most talented runners I know. Here’s her blog: http://pennylanesjourney.blogspot.ca/

2) Christa Davidson is one amazing woman who has overcome an alcohol addiction through running and just completed her first marathon last week! I am constantly inspired by Christa and was lucky enough to run a 20k race with her this summer. Here’s her blog: http://runninonempties.blogspot.ca/

3) Linda Nguyen has been a HUGE running inspiration to me and we have had the pleasure of running a lot together this year. Last month we did our 35k weekend challenge together and our plan for 2014 is to run a marathon. Linda is athletic in every sport and is one of the few people who is part of the Spartan Race Trifecta Tribe. Linda doesn’t have a blog, but you can follow along all her running adventures on Instagram at http://instagram.com/lindamnguyen and Twitter @lindamnguyen.

Who are your running role models? Which women inspire you to lace up and crush your goals?