You might already have heard of a new marathon taking place in Devon (north of Sidmouth) next year, marking a milestone in women’s endurance running. It’s called Women Can – and is an off-road women only marathon and relay, linked to the 50th anniversary of Kathrine Switzer being the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, helping to pave the way for women worldwide to take up distance running.
The start and finish location is at Tipton St John playing field, venue for the popular 10km Otter Rail and River Run, which has taken place there each July since 2007.
The playing field association, which also has its 50th anniversary in 2017, has teamed up with the founders of the Women’s Running Network, Pauline Beare and Peg Wiseman to organise this one-off celebratory event.
With no single running club directly involved, its success will rely on the support and assistance from club members in the immediate local area and wider region. The organisers are specifically looking for help running the relay change-over points, manning water stations and having sufficient on course marshals.
Given the historic milestone this marathon is linked to, it is restricted to female competitors, but they want it to be a fully inclusive celebration of how endurance running has evolved and grown in the last 50 years. All marshals will get a commemorative memento. Any proceeds will go towards causes supporting running for women and girls locally, nationally and internationally.
There’s also a lot of information on the website www.womencan.co.uk
Please contact Jo Earlam at email@example.com if you are able to help.