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We’ve Come a Long Way…

Katherine Switzer Boston Marathon

On April 19, 1966, Roberta Gibb hid in the bushes at the beginning of the Boston Marathon. After the starting gun fired, she waited until half the pack passed by, and then jumped into the race. One year later, while Katherine Switzer was running the Boston Marathon, she was confronted and physically assaulted by two officials from the race. Not because she wasn’t a registered runner, but because she was a woman.

Prior to 1972, when women were officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon, the prevailing logic was that women were not physically capable of running long distances. But these two women, along with the ones who followed in their footsteps, were integral in breaking both stereotypes and barriers.

As the saying goes, we all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and one particular person who is standing tall is Ali Bennett. A long-time friend of Curves for Change, Ali will be running this year’s New York City Marathon and, as if that isn’t enough, will also be raising money for The Somaly Mam Foundation.

Alison Bennett runs in Dublin, Ireland

This will be Ali’s second marathon, the first being in Dublin, Ireland in 2010 to celebrate her 40th birthday.

“I had decided to plan a memorable event to mark my 40th birthday, and it turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences and one of the best days of my life!” said Ali.

“I remember posting on my birthday that 40 was one of the best years of my life and that from now on I wouldn’t define myself by a number, but just simply say that I am now in full bloom!”

Ali started her training program last week for the New York City Marathon, and is excited to share her experience.

“This year I have challenged myself to do things that push me out of my comfort zone,” continued Ali. “To try things I have never done, grow in a positive way, and maybe conquer a few personal fears along the way … remembering to be present, recognize and celebrate when those moments happen … and kick some asphalt along the way!”

We are truly inspired by Ali’s dedication and generosity, and will be following her training, so stay tuned for more updates!


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