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“Running is an amazing sport, no matter what level of runner you are or how fast you are. It is empowering, it brings people together, it develops a sense of community, and that’s especially true for women. I think it’s the easiest sport for a lot of women to be a part of, and we can all find inspiration all over the place. It’s no surprise how much it has grown and how much women are a part of it. I’m proud to be running now with so many other women involved.” —Shalane Flanagan, 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon champion and second-fastest female American marathoner in history.
Women are beating men when it comes to start-line gender ratios, but there was a time when running was a men’s pastime. We talked with some of the women who have been the front runners for the sport, championing innovations, empowering newcomers and outrunning any adversity along the way. Read on to see their stories.