Eleanor Adams – women’s six day races – a history – part three – 1983
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
2w ago
This is part three of a series of posts about the development of women’s six day races from 1981 onwards. The series documents the women who set the world record for six days. In 1981, Marcy Schwam of the USA became the first woman to compete in a six day race since the revival of the format in 1980. Her “new era” record of 384 miles stood for just over a year. For the next two years, Nottingham was the place where the record was rewritten. Firstly, in 1982, when 23-year-old British runner, Ros Paul, broke Schwam’s record with a distance of 407 miles 741 yards. Secondly, in 1983, when Elean ..read more
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Run Across Australia – Nikki Love – Part 2
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
1M ago
On Monday 1st May 2023 ultrarunning adventurer Nikki Love embarked on an epic 4000km run across Australia from Perth to Sydney. This is the second part of my interview with Nikki in which she talks about her distance goals, the dangers she encountered on the roads and the final day of the run. Her route started at Cottesloe Beach in Perth and finished at Bondi Beach in Sydney on Sunday 16th July. Nikki’s time was 76 days 3 hours and 43 minutes. Read the first part of the interview which covers the build-up to Nikki’s run across Australia, the start of the run, the practicalities of making it ..read more
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2023 Reflections
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
2M ago
The more I thought about 2023, the more I realised that lots happened this year. My sports history research in particular has led to new experiences and opportunities. I’ve made enriching connections with other people with an interest in women’s history and sports history. 2023 has also been a year of loss and absence. I have lost someone who was very dear to me and almost lost my sense of being a runner. These are three of my 2023 reflections. 2023 reflections - getting a postcard I used to send lots of postcards, often when I was travelling on holiday. Postcards used to be cheaper to s ..read more
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Long Run to Glory by Stephen Lane
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
3M ago
Stephen Lane’s book “Long Run to Glory” is timely. The Paris 2024 Olympic Games will mark the fortieth anniversary of the first women’s marathon at the Olympics. The race was held at the Los Angeles games on 5th August 1984. It was 88 years since the first men’s marathon at the inaugural Olympiade. Long Run to Glory gives us an extended narrative of the events that led to the first Olympic Marathon and a detailed account of the race. Several books have covered parts of the story. For example, Kathrine Switzer’s memoir “Marathon Woman – running the race to revolutionise women’s sports” and Ja ..read more
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Run Across Australia – Nikki Love – Part 1
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
4M ago
On Monday 1st May 2023 ultrarunning adventurer Nikki Love embarked on an epic 4000km run across Australia, realising a long-held dream. When she set off from Cottesloe Beach in Perth, Nikki could not know that she could make it to the finish at Bondi Beach in Sydney. Her preparation in the three months before had not gone well. In the first part of this interview, we talk about the build-up to Nikki’s run across Austrlia, the start of the run, the practicalities of making it work and the challenges involved. Nikki talks about her ability to draw on her life experience and running experience ..read more
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The Crawley 24 Hour Track Race 2023
Run Young 50
by Katie Holmes
5M ago
In January I had the pleasure of meeting British ultrarunner Sophie Power for the first time. I attended her talk about the She Races campaign at the National Running Show in Birmingham and introduced myself afterwards. Sophie mentioned that she was planning to compete in the Crawley 24 Hour Track Race in April in a bid to qualify for the British team for the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 24 Hour World Championship. She also said that other elite British ultrarunners were going to be at the race. This sparked the idea of volunteering at the race. Later that day I bumped int ..read more
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Women’s six day races – a history – Marcy Schwam
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
9M ago
The history of women’s six day ultra races has been overshadowed by the focus on the men’s record. The impetus for writing this series of posts came from interviewing Eleanor Robinson and Lorna Richey Michael (interview to be published soon) about their involvement in New York Road Runners Six Day Track Race in 1984. When researching Richey Michael’s story, I realised that 1984 was a stellar year in the history of the women’s event. It was the year when the record changed hands five times and women drove the distance up by 92 miles in just 8 months. There hasn’t been a year like it before or ..read more
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The Mothers’ Marathon 1923
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
11M ago
This week marks 100 years since the remarkable Mothers’ Marathon and I’d like to invite you to take a moment to reflect on the astounding achievement of five exceptional women: Lily Groom; Rose Firmager; Alice Sunderland; Ada May Edwards and Margaret Oliver.  I am grateful to a fellow women’s athletics history enthusiast who has brought this story back to life with contemporary reports, photos and the 1923 equivalent of TikTok, and asked me to share it on my blog to mark the centenary of the race. The Mothers’ Marathon – more than a marathon Imagine if someone challenged you to comple ..read more
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Women’s participation in ultrarunning – a short history
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
11M ago
Women’s participation in road running in the UK has grown considerably in the past 15 years and it is not uncommon for women to make up over 40% of finishers in road races. Yet in ultrarunning, women’s participation is much lower, perhaps around 30%, but this varies significantly from race to race. I “dot watched” the Montane Spine Race this year, a challenging 268-mile 7-day ultramarathon along the route of the Pennine Way. Women accounted for just 17% of the competitors. It was this that prompted me to ask, how has women’s participation in ultrarunning changed over the past 50 years? In 19 ..read more
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The Notts 10 Mile Road Race
RunYoung50
by Katie Holmes
1y ago
The Notts 10 mile road race is said to be the oldest road race in Nottinghamshire and is one of the oldest in the East Midlands. But last year its future was in doubt, after Notts AC, who had organised the race for 50 years, decided to discontinue it. As the Notts 10 was the only remaining 10-mile race in the county, this meant that there would be no longer be a County Championship 10-mile race. Notts AC started the race in 1972. It was held every year until 2019. There was almost no racing in the UK in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 2021 was a difficult year for race organisers as ther ..read more
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