Women's running boom

Last month, I wrote a story about a 70-year-old Vancouver man, Jim Scheer, who had completed more than 330 marathons.

The marathon man ran his first race, a 4.8-miler through the Vancouver Barracks, in 1976. Since then, he’s toed the line for hundreds of races.

I asked Jim how racing has changed throughout the years. He started running during the running boom in the 70s.

Now, he said, he’s seeing another running boom. This time around it’s women who are flocking to 5Ks, he said.

But not only 5Ks. Jim said he’s noticed more and more women in 10Ks, half marathons and marathons.

“Some fields are over half women,” he said.

And they’re good, too, he said.

I’ve been a runner, both competitive and recreational, since I was 12. I’ve run in plenty of races where I was in the minority.

But I’ve got to agree with Jim. In the last several years, I’ve noticed more women toeing the line and run with the guys.

Race organizers are catching on to the trend and offering women-only races.

Northwest Personal Training has hosted the Girlfriends Half Marathon in Vancouver since October 2007.

That first year of the race, which supports the local Susan G. Komen for the Cure, 400 women ran. Last year, 2,500 women signed up. This year’s event is Oct. 14.

This year, there’s also a new 5K: Run Like a Girl. The event is open to men as well, but the name is all about girl power.

Run Like a Girl benefits Second Step Housing, a nonprofit that serves women and families who have been homeless.

The run/walk begins at 9 a.m. June 10 at Fort Vancouver. Kids can also Run Like a Kid in a 1K at 11 a.m.

Run Like a Girl is also encouraging costumes. Awards include “Best Dressed Male,” “The Best Dressed Female,” “The Best Dressed Team,” and “The Best Dressed Kid.”

Time to get out on a trail and run like a girl.

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