Women’s endurance running history articles

British women’s success at IAU 100km World Championships

British women’s success at IAU 100km World Championships

British women have been very successful at the IAU 100km World Championships, taking seven gold medals, two silvers and six bronzes. They stand second in the medals table behind Russia who have won 19 medals. GB have won the team competition twice, placed second three...

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Three wins at the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne race

Three wins at the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne race

At 10.30 am on 27th April 1983, the New South Wales Premier fired the starter’s gun on a race that was to make a national hero of its winner and create one of the most famous Australian ultramarathons, the Westfield Sydney to Melbourne race. Eleven men lined up in the...

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New York Six Day Race 1984

New York Six Day Race 1984

In 2001, British ultrarunner Eleanor Robinson (formerly Eleanor Adams) was inducted into the International Association of Ultrarunners Hall of Fame. She was asked to choose the top ten performances of her career. The New York 6 Day Race was number six on her list....

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The first Badwater ultra race

The first Badwater ultra race

It is 6am on Friday 31st July 1987 and the temperature at the Badwater sinkhole in Death Valley, California, is already over 30°C. By midday it will rise to over 40°C. British ultrarunner Eleanor Adams stands with three others waiting to start the first Badwater ultra...

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The unsung heroines

The unsung heroines

Molly Schiot's book "Game Changers: the unsung heroines of sports history" is dedicated to "all the women who were forever told 'no'". It is replete with examples of women who followed their dreams and ambitions in sport despite prejudice, discrimination and...

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The Avon International London Marathon, a first-hand account

The Avon International London Marathon, a first-hand account

On 3rd August 1980, 200 women from 27 countries lined up in Battersea Park in London to run a marathon: the third Avon International Marathon. Maureen Fitzpatrick was one of those women, excitedly waiting at the start and hoping to complete her first marathon at the...

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Diane Leather and the 5 minute mile

Diane Leather and the 5 minute mile

On 29th May 1954 Diane Leather became the first woman to run a mile in less than 5 minutes, when she competed at the Midlands Women’s Amateur Athletic Association Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium. Her time was 4 minutes and 59.6 seconds. Why is her record-breaking achievement far less well-known than Sir Roger Bannister’s sub-4 minute mile record, set 23 days earlier?

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Meeting Mara Yamauchi

Meeting Mara Yamauchi

In March I was fortunate to have the chance to meet Mara Yamauchi, the UK's second-fastest marathon runner, when she came to Nottingham to talk to England Athletics Run Leaders about coaching and training. Mara Yamauchi was inspired to run by watching the Los Angeles...

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The first London Marathon

The first London Marathon

On a sunny day in August 1980 200 women from 27 countries lined up in Battersea Park in London to run a marathon. It was the first time the city's streets had ever been closed for a race. It was the 3rd August. Two days before the men's marathon had taken place at the...

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