64: The 100-miler: Part 11 (1970-1971) Women run 100-milers

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Manage episode 275831491 series 2396657
על ידי Davy Crockett התגלה על ידי Player FM והקהילה שלנו - זכויות היוצרים שמורות למפרסם, לא ל-Player FM, והשמע מוזרם ישירות מהשרתים שלכם. הירשמו כדי לעקוב אחר עדכונים ב-Player FM, או הדביקו את כתובת העדכונים באפליקציות פודקאסט אחרות.
By Davy Crockett As the 1970s began, for the first time in decades, daring pioneer long-distance women athletes again joined in the 100-mile quest, with some opposition because of the lack of public acceptance for women to compete in long distances. By 1970, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) was governing American amateur running and working to prepare athletes for the Olympics. The AAU received growing criticism regarding its governance, arbitrary rules, locking out some runners, and banning women from competitions. But some races started to ignore the AAU rules and allow women to run. Most ultramarathons let them run, at least unofficially. It took a special breed of runner to push through the strong cultural gender bias to break into the male-dominated sport of distance running during the early 1970s. As the 1970s began, 100-mile races continued in South Africa and England. They began to expand in other areas of the world including the United States, Australia, and Italy. World records continued to be lowered. Women 100-milers It had been decades since women had participated in 100-milers. During the 1870s, many women became 100-mile Pedestrians putting on performances that astonished the American public (see episode 55). In 1877, Carrie Parker from Illinois was said to have accomplished the first sub-24-hour 100-miler by a woman. People believed it ruined her life and drove her to insanity. She was “a raving maniac” when she was brought before a court. “Her father testified that ever since the walking match his daughter had been suffering with great nervous prostration and recently she suddenly conceived of the idea that her whole body was charged with electricity and she would not touch her feet to the floor.” She was sent to an asylum. The next year, M’lle Dupree, a French-American seamstress from Sparta, Wisconsin, claimed to break the 24 hour 100-mile barrier. In September 1878, she achieved a time of 23:05, indoors at Mankato Opera House in Minnesota. She indeed was the fastest woman 100-miler of her time and was referred to as “The Wonder of the World.” Geraldine Watson – Pre-war 100-miler The last of the pre-war women 100-mile runners was Geraldine Watson (1883-). She was a schoolteacher from South Africa. She was a very tough individual who would set off on long walks up to 200 miles carrying a small automatic pistol for protection. When she ran the Comrades Marathon (54 miles) in 1931, she received intense public attention. The first woman to run in that race was Frances Hayward (1891-) who in 1923 finished with a time of 11:35. By 1931 the route was significantly faster, the road fully paved. Watson ran unofficially and finished in a little over 11 hours, admitting afterward that she had nearly given up. She repeated in 1932 with a time of 11:56 and in 1933 ran an amazing 9:31:35, still unofficial because women were not allowed to compete. No other woman would run the race until 1965. Watson entered a 100-mile road race organized in Durban, South Africa in 1934. The race was held on a circular road course. Watson ran a sub-24-hour 100 on June 30, 1934. Her time was 22:22:00 and was performed in strong gusty winds and rain. Two men also finished the race, Fred Wallace with a time of 16:52:20 and Bill Cochrane (1900-), with 17:25:00. Miki Gorman – 100 Mile World Record Holder Michiko "Miki" Suwa (1935-2015) was born in China to Japanese parents. In 1963 she moved to the United States, attended college, and married businessman Michael Gorman. They moved to Los Angeles where she became a secretary for a Japanese trading company. In 1968, she bought a membership in the Los Angeles Athletic Club (LAAC) where she enrolled in a calisthenics class. She was offered the choice of a stationary bike or jogging to warm up. She chose running, and for the next five years the LAAC track on the seventh floor of a downtown building was her running home. She explained,

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