The first Womans Olympic marathon was 30 years ago. The winner was Joan Benoit Samuelson with a time of 2:24:52, but a few minutes later Gabrielle Andersen-Schiess crossed the finish line with a grueling finish to show that woman infact could endure long distance races .
Through out time Women have fought for running equality.From ancient times when women were not even allowed to show up at a race to more traditional times.
In march 1896 Staniatis Rovithi was the first woman to run a Marathon. The men of that time thought a marathon was way to strenuous on a woman. She ran the course from Marathon to Athens.
Violet Piercy on Oct 3 1926 was the first woman to be timed in a Marathon she clocked in a 3:40:22 in a british race.
Merry Lepper ran 3:37:07 on Dec. 16,1963, an American, but these times were never official recorded times.
Even though women were barred from actual competitions in these races. It took the bravery of these womenn to wait for the start of a mens race, and run behind, or beside the men. Some women were forced off the course as they ran by the men.
Roberta Gibb in 1966 became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon and known to finish the whole course.
Roberta had this to say at the end of the course “It was not my intention to make a femenist statement. I was running against distance (not man) and I was measuring myself with my own potential”
1972 the longest race for a woman was the 1500m in the Olympics. The fight continued on for womens equality in races .
Finally in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the first Olympic Marathon for women was introduced to the Olympics.
Read on for more information on the complete history of “The Fight to Establish the Womens Race”
Happy Women’s Equality Day!!!!
Hope you enjoyed these facts of our running history.