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Women can’t run marathons – Part I

Trans-Siberian

Did you know that there was no women’s marathon in the Olympic Games until 1984? The men’s event, in contrast, was part of the inaugural “modern Olympics” in 1896.

Women had, of course, run marathons before that but not without a lot of effort – and I don’t mean the running. Under the assumption that the female body was not capable of such feats, the rare few women who managed to make it over the start line were often removed before getting the chance to reach the other end.

It’s ridiculous to think about now – I’m fairly sure no one reading this blog could stick in Paula‘s slip stream for long – but evidently it was the accepted view only a couple of decades back. And it makes you wonder what other physical limitations we take for granted? That we’ll look back on and laugh in a few years’ time?

And, more importantly, what limitations have you assumed about yourself? Couldn’t run a marathon / cycle to work / apply for that job / ask that guy/girl out / quit my job and travel around the world?

Maybe you couldn’t. Maybe you could. But do you really want to risk never finding out?

About the Author

Tim Moss has supported over 100 expeditions across all seven continents. He has climbed new mountains, crossed a desert and is currently cycling around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society London and a Guinness World Record. He aims to encourage more people to live adventurously. Read more...

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