For bet­ter, for worse

Switzer on the changes she has seen in run­ning in 50 years

Runner's World (UK) - - HUMAN RACE -

The good…

The ac­cep­tance of women. Full run­ning equal­ity in the Olympics. Equal prize money. The re­al­i­sa­tion of women’s great abil­ity, and, per­haps, su­pe­rior po­ten­tial in en­durance run­ning. The sports bra (a work in progress, but still…). The im­prove­ment in run­ning shoes. Wa­ter sta­tions in races. Groups like Parkrun, where you can just show up and take part.

…The not so good

Drugs. The big­gest scourge in our sport. Many races are so big you can’t even find space to run. And small races strug­gle to be taken se­ri­ously. The price of race en­tries. With travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion it means you have to be wealthy to par­tic­i­pate. This di­vides the run­ning com­mu­nity. The de­cline in lo­cal track and field. The of­fi­cials are all 90 years old – so few young peo­ple vol­un­teer. The loss of a sense of com­mu­nity as a re­sult of fewer club com­pe­ti­tions. It’s just ‘show up and wave your bar­code’.

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