261 Fearless Club Newcastle

In January 2019 I will be starting a new adventure alongside my great friend Azareth when we will both become Coaches of a new women’s running group in Newcastle that is a part of the great 261 Fearless Global Women’s Running Community.

I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by Richard for Radio Tyneside and you can listen to the clip below. Thank you to Richard for helping to raise the profile for 261 Fearless in the North East and I hope you enjoy the interview.

I have also set out below a little bit of the history and hope you will be tempted to come and join us and get involved.

261 Fearless - what is this and why should you get involved?

Below is the story behind the 261 Fearless Global Running Community and I hope after reading this you will be inspired, motivated and ready to take that step to join this amazing network of strong, supportive and inspirational women....

Let's take it back to the start....over 50 years ago in April 1967. Kathrine Switzer registered to run the Boston Marathon.

Within our lifetime, only 50 years ago, women were thought to be incapable of running 26.2 miles, their wombs might fall out or they will collapse in a heap, was the general school of thought. There were not any official rules to say a woman could not run Boston, but it wasn’t something that had ever been done before. Kathrine registered for Boston as KV Switzer, as she tended to do for everything, given the unusual spelling of her name. There was no deceit, she just wanted to run. She started the marathon and was running the event until one of the race directors saw a woman running in the crowds and was so filled with rage that he tried to remove her and her number from the race. Kathrine made the brave decision to finish the race, even though her number was now torn, she felt terrified and didn’t know what lay ahead of her when she did cross the line, she finished.

Kathrine was later disqualified, but was so determined to carry on running, she began campaigning. For the last 50 years Kathrine has done so much for women in sport. She set up women’s only marathons around the world in a campaign to make sure women were allowed to run the marathon in the Olympics. Believe it or not the first time women ran 26.2 miles in the Olympics was in 1984!

Kathrine has inspired so many people over the years and is now continuing to do so through her 261 Fearless Clubs.

The aim is to use running as a vehicle to empower and unite women through the creation of local running clubs, education programmes, communication platforms and social running events.

We aim to break down the barriers of geography and create a global community for women runners of all abilities to support, encourage, and inspire each other towards a positive sense of self and fearlessness.

There is no competition, no favourites, no one at the back. For an hour a week you can switch off and focus on you.

261 Fearless Clubs can be found around the world and is growing all the time. There are many opportunities open to members, including international travel.

261 Fearless Club Newcastle is launching in January 2019 and will meet every Friday at 9:30am in the Car Park of Paddy Freeman Park.

It is the aim of our group to bring the women of Newcastle together, to enjoy running, to support each other and to create a group where you can run, be strong and be free.

If you want any information please drop me an email at 261fearlessnewcastle@gmail.com.

What’s stopping you?

Clare Dixon