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sponsored: #RUNNOVATION – How Women’s Distance Running Has Evolved

Believe it or not, it wasn't very long ago that women weren't allowed to run long-distance races. As ridiculous as it might seem,...

That Was Then

Believe it or not, it wasn’t very long ago that women weren’t allowed to run long-distance races. As ridiculous as it might seem, the thinking back then was that women couldn’t or just shouldn’t run the same distances as the men. It wasn’t until 1972 that women were allowed to run in the Boston Marathon and not for another 12 years that they competed in races longer than 1,500 meters in the Olympics. Incomprehensibly, women didn’t get to run all of the same Olympic distances as men until 1996 — a full 24 years after Title IX legislation was passed.

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This is Runnovation.

Women’s running is exploding on all levels — on the track, on the road and on the trail. Not only do women outnumber men in running races (56 percent to 44 percent as of 2012), they also buy more gear, join more training groups and raise more money while running for charity. Nowadays a fit woman is a powerful — and empowered — woman. You run like a girl? Good for you. When the IAAF World Championships in Athletics begin later this week in Moscow, Russia — where American Jenny Simpson (pictured) will try to repeat as champion in the 1,500-meter run — it will be clear that women truly run the world.