Uniting and Empowering Women Globally with 261 Fearless
Editor’s Note: This post is written by guest contributor, Emily Ertel of the 261 Fearless organization, and has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Minneapolis Running.
Women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer is reaching out to all female runners interested in sharing their love of running through 261 Fearless, her non-profit organization that uses running as a vehicle to unite and empower women globally.
About 261 Fearless
Launched in a big way as Switzer was training for the 50th anniversary run of her 1967 Boston Marathon debut this past April, the 261 Fearless concept unites women through a network of running clubs which are growing in number on a global basis.
Women of all abilities, cultures and social backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to participate. 261 Fearless Clubs are non-traditional running clubs focusing on fun, social, non-competitive running. All abilities of runners train together, supporting and encouraging one another. The result is that women feel part of a community rather than just a club and with clubs as far away as South America and Europe, that community extends all over the globe.
Since 2016 I have been running the local 261 Fearless Club Twin Cities. I love the opportunity it provides to invite women into the fold, offering them the opportunity to experience the strength and transformation that I have garnered through the joys and challenges of the sport. 261 Fearless Club Twin Cities meets weekly and serves as a platform for women of all walks of life and physical abilities to move fearlessly together through running inspired activities.
Related: 5 Benefits of Running with a Group
How to Get Involved in the Twin Cities
The 261 Fearless Club network is connecting club members in the Twin Cities to 261 Fearless Club members throughout the USA and all over the world continually offering new 261 Club groups and opportunities for fearless women. We are currently seeking female runners who want to increase access to running to women of all abilities to volunteer to be 261 Fearless Club Directors and Coaches. Interested women are asked to apply and attend the upcoming “261 Train the Trainer” course in Minneapolis, October 21-22, 2017. To initiate the application process, simply complete our Inquiry Form. Once received, a member of our team will be in touch to guide you through next steps.
During the 261 Train the Trainer weekend, participants will receive training that embraces the 261 Fearless philosophies, enabling coaches and team leaders to create and lead women through the unique 261 Fearless club model while they promote healthy, social running. All 261 Fearless Clubs focus on long-term health and running joy versus the more traditional clubs methodologies that train for speed, distance, and race times. Participants will learn the 261 Fearless techniques of fitness, having fun while emphasizing inclusion and a sense of community as taught in the unique “261 Train the Trainer” method.
“Women can view running with 261 Fearless as a way to empower themselves,” said Edith Zuschmann, Director of Global 261 Club Network.
“We can all take the mission and the legacy of what Kathrine Switzer has built over the past 50 years and create additional opportunities for women to connect through running. We’re looking to reach out to empowered, fearless women to form local 261 Fearless Clubs all over the world and make a difference in their local communities.”
If women are interested in getting involved outside of the Train the Trainer weekend, they can choose to join 261 Fearless Club Twin Cities.
“Giving back what you have experienced through running will change your life in a wonderful and powerful way,” said Switzer. “We invite you to join our global community where you can experience the power of running with a support group behind you every step of the way.”
Kathrine Switzer is an iconic athlete, author, and advocate for sports and social causes, she was the first woman to officially enter and then run the Boston Marathon. She has been honored for her achievements, most recently for running the Boston Marathon on the 50th anniversary of her historic run in 1967.