As part of the Virtual Istead Zoom sessions held throughout lockdown, the club has organised a number of guest speakers.
One of these, to mark International Women’s Day, was Katie Holmes who talked to us about the history of women’s running.
It seems incredible now, but distance running was not open to women until the latter part of the last century. In the UK women were not permitted to compete in road races longer than 6 kilometres until late 1975. Kathrine Switzer gained fame by entering the 1967 Boston marathon in the name of K. Switzer. When it was discovered she was female, the race director tried to push her off the course and subsequently disqualified her. It was not until 1972 that she was able to run the Boston Marathon legally.
Katie’s website https://runyoung50.co.uk/ has some fascinating stories about women’s running and is well worth a look .
Katie is particularly passionate about running for older women and following on from the meeting, she invited Istead Runner, Joyce Bell, who took up running in her early 60s, to write a piece for her website. This is her story – https://runyoung50.co.uk/joyce-bell/