Women’s Running Pioneers to be Inducted as Hall of Famers

We have  two female hall of famers this year! Nina Kuscsik and Michiko Gorman, known as women’s  running pioneers will be inducted into the prestigious New York Road Runners Hall of Fame this November 1. If they hadn’t protested along with other female runners way back 1970s, women would still be running 10 minutes ahead of men! A sweet deal, I think. Just kidding!

Announcing this year’s inductees today, NYRR president Mary Wittenberg said, “Nina and Miki are brave athletes, opening endless doors and opportunities for female runners, and Alberto’s legacy lives on, shining through in America’s best runners due to his unparalleled coaching abilities.”

Nina Kuscsik talks with reporters after the 1980 Empire State Building Run-Up. Photo courtesy New York Road Runners

For Kuscsik and Gorman, the honor is a reversal of fortune. Forty years ago, on October 1, 1972, Kuscsik was sitting defiantly on the New York Marathon start line with the five other women competitors, in protest against an AAU ruling that they must start ten minutes ahead, to avoid the supposed health and morality risks of “competing with men.” Kuscsik still managed to win that year’s women’s race, and repeated in 1973. She also took her dissenting energies inside the sport, joining management committees to press for rule-changes that eventually achieved equal status for women.

She gives the New York Road Runners a generous share of the credit.

“This honor highlights not only my own running but how much the New York Road Runners seized the opportunity to grow women’s running,” Kuscsik told Runner’s World Newswire. “When I ran unofficially at the 1969 Boston Marathon, I first met other runners from New York, and they gave me encouragement and helped me learn how to legislate with the US governing body. At that time women’s running was limited to two miles.”

Read the full article at Runner’s World. 


Photo copyright by Flickr user billac. 


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