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261 Fearless Runners Turn Heads in NYC

Almost 50 women, including several members of Kathrine Switzer's 261 Fearless NYC Marathon Team, gathered at the adidas store in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village on October 9 to meet and run as a kick-off celebration for her TCS New York City Marathon run in November.

Even though the morning was humid and the threat of rain was on the horizon, the women gathered to hear Kathrine speak and celebrate the final few weeks of training for the TCS New York City Marathon.

"It’s always exciting to head out to a 261 Fearless event!  It’s a guarantee that there will be women from all sorts of running backgrounds eager to hear the story of Kathrine Switzer and 261 Fearless," beamed Debbie, 261 Fearless Charity Manager.

The mood was lively and energetic as the girls got to know each other and hear Kathrine recount her story of overcoming fear and harassment in her famous 1967 Boston Marathon run, and how that iconic moment led her to a life full of empowering women, culminating in the establishment of the global 261 Fearless network.  

Runners then donned their new 261 Fearless adidas tech shirts and headed out on a 5k run through the streets of Manhattan towards the Williamsburg Bridge, stopping traffic, turning heads and garnering waves from passers-by on the street and they ran.  The women transformed the Bridge into an amazing sea of bright color in their fuchsia shirts!  

Runners prepare to head off toward the Williamsburg Bridge

After posing for pictures at the top of the bridge, they headed back to adidas for refreshments and proceeded to share more stories about overcoming fear and finding empowerment through running.  There were also discussions about setting up 261 Fearless Clubs in the New York area so the message of 261 can continue to spread.  

Kirstin, a Team 261 Fearless member, was honoured to be invited and was asked to speak about being part of 261 Fearless.

“Monday was one of the greatest days of my life.  I met Katherine exactly two years ago and that powerful presentation of her story changed me.  On that day, she told me we'd run Boston together, and we did this year.  And here we are again.  We are making history.”

Kirsten went on to tell us how hearing Kathrine’s story again reinvigorated her fearlessness and her desire to share the 261 Fearless message.

“I believe we are here to pass the torch to our next generation and to get all women moving and to be Fearless, all walks of life, all shapes and sizes.  When we sat in the room after the run and I looked at these beautiful powerful women from all over I finally felt like I was where I belong and believe I can do anything! “ 

“I am constantly moved by Kathrine's ability to be so kind and consistent and supportive.  We are changing the world for all women and I am thrilled and so grateful to be a part of the 261 Fearless Charity Team,” she said.

Kirstin shares a happy moment with Kathrine 

Kathrine herself was no less enthusiastic about the day: "What an amazing day we women runners had in New York City! What was supposed to be a small gathering morphed into nearly 50 women. Most of them were Manhattan or Brooklyn people but several even came from other cities when they heard we were meeting. As usual, when 261 gets women together, we become instant friends."  

"Women from Girls Run NYC, the November project, Central Park Track Club, and from New Jersey and Boston came.  Instead of feeling like we were meeting for the first time, it felt like a reunion! The enthusiasm and energy was incredible, and as we ran from the Adidas offices to the Williamsburg bridge and back, the noise level of all our voices rang out up and down the street!” 

It was a great event, and the women were thrilled to see themselves on the news that evening, thanks to Fox 5 New York’s coverage of 261 Fearless!

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