As is tradition with my running team, the Pink Nation, we begin our weekly run with a series of announcements and then a motivational speech. Our benediction, so to speak. It is, after all, the Church of the Sunday Long Run! 

We try to include a quote from someone famous to emphasize a point, and borrow one of these words as the thing we chant together before we take off for our run. 

Yesterday, it was my turn. Given recent events in this country, I felt compelled to share a woman’s perspective on running and how this sport empowers us to do more than we ever thought possible. Here is what I said to my team: 

This is me leading the benediction last year before the Ashland Half Marathon.

Benediction 7/10/22

As the miles begin to ramp up into double digits this training cycle, the challenge may start to seem daunting, this process more difficult. 

Today, I’m drawing inspiration from the great Kathrine Switzer. She is more than just one of the first women to run the Boston Marathon. She is a pioneer in the running community, making this beloved sport accessible to women everywhere, of all abilities. 

Through her work with companies like Avon, Kathrine developed the concepts of modern races that we love so much. Things like medals just for finishing, porta-potties and water stops along race courses, and all the swag. 

But she also endured some pretty serious events in her personal life and persevered. You can read about it in her book, Marathon Woman.

I was privileged to meet her during the Marine Corps Marathon at mile 23 in 2019.

From left to right: me, Becky, Kathrine, and Patty at mile 23 of the Marine Corps Marathon in 2019.

Some famous quotes from Kathrine:

“If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.”


“When I go to the Boston Marathon now, I have wet shoulders—women fall into my arms crying. They’re weeping for joy because running has changed their lives. They feel they can do anything.”

Kathrine still empowers women everywhere. She is, in her own words, fearless. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we can, and we will, do challenging things. 

On three. FEARLESS.


If you are a runner, how have your experiences with this sport changed and empowered you? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy. 

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

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