IN her tireless pursuit of completing 100 marathons, Hoad Hill Harriers veteran Penny Moreton flew to Palma, Mallorca to take part in the 261 Women’s Marathon.
Organised by American author, TV commentator and Boston Marathon history-maker Kathrine Switzer, this event is the only women’s marathon in Europe.
Staged as part of the International Women’s Day celebrations, the event attracted competitors from as far afield as Austria and Norway.
Switzer set up the 261 Women’s Marathon – now in its second year – as a celebration of defying the conventions of the time and entering the Boston Marathon back in 1967. This was a time when 10k and marathon running events were seen as a male-only domain.
As Moreton explained: “Women were considered too weak to run, but despite the organisers trying to pull her from the race, Switzer completed the race in 4 hours 20 minutes proving that women – when given the opportunity – were capable of running in such events.
“Switzer believed women deserved the chance to run and demolished stereotypes by her participation.
“Her race number in 1967 – 261 – is the event symbol of her fearless feat.”
The 261 Women’s Marathon route is a combination of loops, following the initial 10k loop of the 10k race and then three laps along the waterfront inclusive of Palma port and encircling the cathedral in front of the Parc de la Mar.