Fifty-one women and men made up our 261 Fearless Charity Team for the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon, and travelled to Washington D.C. for an unforgettable experience. Together with our international team, our local 261 Club DC Metro Team, and Kathrine Switzer we kicked off the weekend with a relaxed shakeout run on Friday. Runners and walkers from the local area and beyond joined us and experienced what 261 Fearless is all about - bringing women together, no matter what their fitness level, running experience or background is. The group enjoyed a relaxed run across Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Monument and back to Arlington cemetery and had the chance to exchange ideas and connect with other runners.
The Charity Team had the opportunity to connect even further at our pre-race dinner on Saturday. In an atmosphere of excitement for the big day, the 51 runners could meet other runners on the team and listen to an inspiring panel discussion.The panelists Kathrine Switzer, Rosy Spraker (261 Coach of the 261 Club Metro DC), Joann Flaminio (261 Fearless Advocate & 261 Club New England Director) and Emily Ertel (Master Coach and Club Director of the 261 Club Twin Cities), gave an inspiring talk about 261 Fearless and the rewarding task of empowering women through running. They also explained how rewarding the task of being a 261 Coach is. Women who have experienced themselves how the gift of running can change their lives, step up to spread the joy of running in their local communities - sparking a revolution of empowerment locally and globally. The 261 Fearless Charity Runners play and important role in building up our global 261 Club network. Thanks to their relentless fundraising efforts, we are able to offer education opportunities for women and set up new 261 Clubs around the globe. We would like to thank all Charity Runners for their support - you make it possible for us to empower women! The very inspiring insights and experiences shared by our panelists were followed by loads of cheesecake for dessert - the perfect pre-race carb-loading!
The day of the Marine Corps Marathon the Charity Team met in our hotel lobby for a last group picture and good luck wishes. The runners were then sent off to the start line - in pouring rain! The conditions of the run were harsh: First, the runners had to deal with the tremendous amount of rain, when finally the sun came out, the humidity was oppressive. Still, our team kept running and absorbed some new energy at our 261 Fearless cheer zone at mile 23. It was an unforgettable experience for sure!
At the post-race celebration, our 261 Fearless Team and Kathrine Switzer welcomed the happy, but exhausted runners. After an intense weekend, it was time to say goodbye - but not forever! The Charity Team will continue to exchange and support each other. Being a 261 Fearless Charity Runner does not only mean spending an eventful weekend with your team, but to be part of the community and establish friendships for life. If you want to be part of our Charity Teams, find your event here.