In this modern day and age, it’s easy to forget an important fact about women’s distance running: 40 years ago, females weren’t officially allowed to compete in marathons at an international level. In fact, there was no Olympic Marathon for women; there was no laurel-crowned female standing next to the men’s winner at the New York City or Boston marathons. At the time, it was common knowledge that the marathon distance was best left for the men. Women were deemed “incapable” of running that far.
The paradigm changed in the 1970s and one woman helped spearhead that change: a Norwegian by the name of Grete Waitz.
The running world lost one of its legends yesterday as Waitz succumbed to cancer after a six-year struggle. She was only 57 years old. Waitz’s barrier-breaking achievements in her long career were nothing short of incredible and have inspired countless female runners along the way.
Read more at the Competitor Group web site.