Today marks the 126th Boston Marathon, where about 30,000 athletes make their way 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boylston Street. But for the majority of these races, women were denied entry. In fact, 2022 is only the 50th year that female runners are allowed to race, according to the Boston Athletics Association (BAA), which organizes the race.
There is no doubt that some of the 14,000 women running today will spend some of the race reflecting on this significant achievement in athletics for women and the Indigenous women who made it possible for so many to run today. And one of those women running today made history herself: 28-year-old Kenyan Peris Gebshireshire, winner of the women’s elite division of today’s Boston Marathon. She is the defending Olympic gold medalist in the marathon, as well as the recent winner of the New York City Marathon, making her the first athlete to win all three titles, regardless of gender.
“First of all, I felt that she was strong and I pressed her and I feel tired. I am late but I have not lost hope,” Gebshireshire told reporters, according to Reuters. “The track is difficult, but thank God I managed to win the race.”
What is the end!
– NBC Sports April 18 2022
Jepchirchir finished the day with a time of 2:21:01, a few minutes behind her best (2:17:16, which she ran at the Valencia Marathon in Spain in December 2020). Ababeel Yeshane, 30, of Ethiopia, came in second, just five seconds behind Gubshire.
This year’s Marathon is also notable because the COVID-19 pandemic derailed the last two races: the 2020 Boston Marathon was canceled, and the 2021 Boston Marathon was held in October instead of celebrating Patriot Day (April 19).
Even after that and his historic Jeepshire win, there is no shortage of other inspiring stories among the athletes racing today.
Val Rogochsky, The Race to Celebrate 50 Years
In 1972, Val Rogochsky was one of eight women who ran the first mixed marathon in Boston. She’s back now at 75, and has raced again.
“I am very much looking forward to returning to Boston this year with my daughters to celebrate 50 years of welcoming women to the marathon,” Rogochski said in a statement from the BAA. In 1972 the students at Wellesley School shouted ‘Really, sir! “On our 25th anniversary, the students looked like my daughters, and this year, they could be my granddaughters! I celebrate progress across generations as women claim their place on the starting line.”
Although 1972 was the first year that women were officially allowed to race, leading runners had braved the course before that year. For example, in 1966, Roberta Gibb ran a marathon to hide her gender, hiding under a big blue shirt and fumbling behind bushes near the starting line, according to the New York Times.
Rogocheski is part of a special team of eight women running in honor of the original eight winners in 1972, including 37-year-old Swiss Paralympic sprinter Manuela Scheer, who won the women’s wheelchair race for the fourth time this year by one time. :41:08. Other team members include 33-year-old Kenyan sprinter Marie Ngogi, 42-year-old Paralympic medalist Melissa Stockwell, 50-year-old soccer and soccer star Sarah Fuller, US women’s soccer team 50-year-old Kristen Lilly. , 24-year-old Jocelyn Rivas, Guinness world record holder, and 48-year-old activist Verna Volker.
Adrianne Haslet, running to reclaim the finish line
There is also Adrienne Haslett, 41, a survivor of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing who lost her left foot. I made it to the finish line nine years ago – not as a runner, but as a spectator – shortly before the explosions happened. In a way, her injury kicked off her running journey, and this year, she’s nearing the finish line — but this time, as a contestant. She ran alongside retired professional sprinter Shalane Flanagan, 40, Olympic medalist and 2017 New York City Marathon champion, who will be supporting her. The two form a friendship the year after the bombing.
“There is no better place to be in Boston on Patriots Day and run the awesome Boston Marathon right next to my friend Adrian,” Flanagan wrote on Instagram. “I can’t predict what will happen on Monday, but I know this, it will be the most emotional and meaningful marathon I have ever run. The same pavement where Adrian lost her leg in the 2013 bombings is the same pavement that my father watched from (at the age of 17) and inspired me because The runner became me…I know in this very place in Boylston, we will find the extra strength we need to finish strong.There are so many great stories and journeys to get to the start and finish line of the marathon.But this 26.2 deserves an extra celebration because Adrianne’s stamina and flourishes on Despite the many setbacks it is just a celebration!!”
Haslet herself took to Instagram to share her thoughts and feelings leading up to this emotional race day. In a post the day before the race, I wrote: “The idea behind the kaleidoscope is that it is a structure full of bits and pieces and somehow, if you can look through it, you can still see something beautiful. I feel like all of us that way. Filled with beautiful broken bits It’s the way we turn and direct toward the light that matters. I don’t know about you, but I’m chasing the light tomorrow.”
The couple crossed the finish line after 3 p.m., Haslett told the Boston Globe that she didn’t even notice the mileage marks until 22 or 23 because she “had so much fun with Shaleen… It was the best day of my life,” she said.
Jacky Hunt-Broersma, breaks records for bringing awareness
Also chasing the light is Jackie Hunt-Proorsma, 46, an Arizona-based amputee runner who ran a marathon every day. single. day. Since January 17. Her goal was to run 100 marathons in 100 consecutive days, beating the current women’s record of 95 days – that is, until British runner Kate Jayden completed 101 marathons in 101 days. How, Hunt-Broersma’s goal is “at least 102,” according to the Boston Globe. The Boston Marathon marks the 92nd consecutive marathon.
“I hope this inspires others to step out of their comfort zone and try something new and see what you can really do,” she wrote on Instagram. “You always have more to offer. It doesn’t have to be crazy. It just needs to push you a little bit further out of your comfort zone🤗. Maybe you run your first 5km or a half/full marathon or even take your first marathon. Let me know what you You’re going to do it this year to push yourself forward a little bit.”
She also uses the project to advocate for awareness of the financial barriers facing amputees who want to be active: “I’ve been an amputee runner for five years and have been incredibly fortunate to have the support of some amazing brands that have helped me along the way, but not Everyone is lucky.” Running prosthetics costs $10-20,000 and many insurance companies see running as a ‘luxury’ for amputees so they don’t cover it. I decided to make this attempt to raise money for amputebladerunners. They are also a great charity that provides running blades for amputees. I like to give running opportunities to amputees like me.”