For better, for worse
Switzer on the changes she has seen in running in 50 years
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’.