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The Girl Who Started It All

On a dark six-mile run in a wild snowstorm in mid-December 1966, I had a terrible argument with my otherwise kindly old coach, Arnie Briggs. It was in Syracuse, New York, where God first invented snow and never let up. I was a 19-year-old journalism student at Syracuse University, and since there was no women’s running team there or anywhere else for that matter, I began training unofficially with the men’s cross-country team. That’s where I met 50-year-old Arnie, who had trained for years with the team. Arnie was actually the university mailman and a veteran of 15 Boston Marathons. He was excited to see a woman–the first–come out to run, and took slowpoke me under his training wing. To cajole me through tough evening sessions like this, Arnie told and retold stories of famous Bostons. I loved listening to them–until this night when I snapped and said, “Oh, let’s quit talking about the Boston Marathon and run the damn thing!”

PDF: The-Girl-Who-Started-It-All-Runners-World.pdf