The runningverse is filled with amazing stories of people discovering a whole new world of health, elation and adventure. It brims with joy, excitement and positivism. But it also brings about a great, wonderful paradigm which we think the world needs. True equality.
Join any running venture and you will see a diverse, smiling crowd of ages, sexes and backgrounds blended in together. There's great beauty in the way running seems to put everyone on the same wavelength, from the elite champions to the first timers. Everyone's here to experience a journey, to learn and to share. And everyone seems to benefit.
Within that culture, there exists a group of wonderful, inspiring runners which we feel should be acknowledged and celebrated; women.
Female runners, like all their peers, come from all walks of life and social backgrounds. But maybe a little bit more than others, they've passed through the filter of a certain social norm that dictates what they should and shouldn't do, and that too often puts a form of unseen social pressure.
Sweat, trail dirt and grit, they enthusiastically take it in with a childlike joy, just as any runner does out there. As true equals, they join in any run type or distance and give their all, sharing the excitement, the challenges, the fun and the pain. They can win, get defeated or grind it out through challenging times exactly like any other runner out there on any given day. The opportunities are the same for everyone and they are there to grab them and reap their benefits. They bring their perspective and values and enrich the running circles with their presence.
For those of us lucky enough to experience the running life in Mexico's Copper Canyons, home of the famous Tarahumara runners of the Sierra Madre, the sheer inspiration that comes from running with the women in particular has no equal. In accordance with their long-standing traditions, women join in the endurance events and tackle the long and harsh distances of ultra races in the Sierra, dressed in their long colorful skirts and tire tread sandals. With a quiet resolve, they travel long miles under the radiant Canyons sun, showing the way to the younger generations and sharing a special, humble bond with the runners from the outside world and most specifically with foreign women who traveled from afar to bridge cultures and enjoy the unique, border-less kinship that running brings.
We celebrate female runners for their guts, their audacity and their yearning for freedom and health. More than anyone else, they are shining examples to younger ones that women are a powerful force in this world, with amazing capabilities and unique strengths that make running the beautiful, inclusive, wide-reaching sport that it is today.