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Monday, April 2, 2012

Heroes & Role Models

As far back as I can remember I have had a role model, someone who I admired and sought to emulate. As a girl it was Annie Oakley.  I grew up in Albuquerque and felt very much a part of the wild west.  As you can tell, from the cowgirl hats I wear, I still identify with Annie Oakley, though I have yet to shoot a gun.

Click on following link to see Video of Annie shooting - 4 minutes

Today's fictional Annie Oakley is Katness Everdeen, the hero of The Hunger Games.  I'm sure she's providing thousands of girls the inspiration they need to overcome life's given challenges.

In my twenties and thirties it was Wonder Woman, the genesis of my extensive Wonder Woman collection.  She would inspire me when I was down & discouraged as a single, working mother.  When my load felt too much I could look to her and know I could go on and do IT! 

When I began running in my thirties, in the 1970s, it was Duvika Spino, my first running coach.  Then came Team in Training and Mama Lisa Felder, an inspiring ultra marathoner.  She introduced me to octogenarian runner Helen Klein listed among the top World Masters Association runners.  Here are some inspiring milestones for us all for Helen Klein: 
  • Over 100 marathons completed
  • 142 ultramarathons completed (only one woman has run more)
  • Oldest person to complete a 100-mile run
  • Official finisher: The Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii
  • At age 66... one of the first women to complete the Grand Slam of Ultra Running: Five 100-mile mountain trail runs in a 16 week period (only four needed), which included 175,000 feet of elevation change
  • At age 70... ran the 145-mile stage race in the Himalayas
  • At age 72... completed the Marathon Des Sables, a 145 mile stage race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco, followed just two weeks later by completing the 370 mile Echo Challenge in Utah
  • At age 74... ran the 143-mile stage race across the Peruvian Andes
  • At age 81... completed the Tahoe Triple in 10/09/04 by running 3 marathons around Lake Tahoe in 3 consecutive days (78 miles in 18:05:51)
  • Oldest woman to have finished the following 100-Mile Endurance Runs: Western States, Leadville Trail, Wasatch Front, Old Dominion, Angeles Crest, Rocky Raccoon, Vermont
  • USA Track and Field Hall of Fame: First woman ultramarathoner (elected in 1999)
  • Arete Award: Symbolizing Courage in Sports
  • Road Runners Hall of Fame (elected in 2004)
  • MasterCard’s Master of the Marathon Award (1992)
  • 2002 Olympic Torch Bearer
Click here to see 85 year old Helen breaking another record!

and here for more details

I'm turning 70 next month and need heroes more than ever.  And today I find another role model: Kathy Martin who at 60 is setting new running records for her age bracket, looks beautiful & is inspiring women of all ages around the world.  

Thank you WONDERFUL WOMEN - wherever you are - for speaking up, stepping out, snuggling in, taking chances, being brave and sensitive, strong and soft, for bearing, guiding and protecting our children and for being intelligent, loving, dedicated, persevering and radiant.  

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