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Global Social Running Network for Women Coming to New York State

May 14, 2018

Inspiration for women, female runners, women in business

On May 27, 2018 I am joining an International Team of female runners on the beautiful shores and hillside of Devon, England to run in the Women Can Marathon. Instead of running the full marathon, I am running 6.5 miles of an International women’s relay team with teammates from England, Switzerland and Malta. I am excited to wear my American buff while I run with my International sisters to complete this women-only race during the countries 100th Anniversary of women’s right to vote. Our medal will be in the shape of a voting box. If you follow me you know I can’t wait to have that medal in my collection because of my feminist spirit and work in pay inequality as it relates to women entrepreneurs.

While American women were celebrating International Women’s Day in communities this year, with the freedom to choose activities they wanted to partake in, an ocean away a group of Saudi women exercised a new freedom by embarking on their first jog together through city streets. Saudi women are not the only women restricted from the joy of running, many women do not run because they are restricted in their marital lives, encounter harassment while they run or are fearful to begin or run alone.

This comes to no surprise to relatively new non-for profit organization 261 Fearless, a global supportive social running network which empowers women to connect and take control of their lives through the freedom gained by running. The organization hopes to grow communities throughout Central New York, New York State and the United States of America.

Established in 2015, 261 Fearless Inc. was founded by pioneer runner, Syracuse University graduate and 2018 Syracuse University Commencement Speaker Kathrine Switzer. Switzer was the first woman to official enter the Boston Marathon in 1967 when women weren’t allowed to participate in major races. Switzer wore bib number 261 which has become synonymous with fearlessness.

Photo by Horst Van Bolen

The mission of 261 Fearless, Inc. is to bring women together through a global supportive social running network allowing fearless women to pass strength gained from running onto women who are facing challenges and hence sparking a revolution of empowerment. Through the creation of local running clubs, education programs, communication platforms and social running events, women are connected locally as well as nationally and globally to other women in the organization.

Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, Syracuse resident and President of Women TIES, LLC, has been affiliated with 261 Fearless, Inc. since 2015 when she was invited by Switzer to join her, Edith Zuschmann of Austria, CEO of the organization, and thirteen other International and American women in New York City for its launch. “My love for running and supporting women for twenty years led me to participate with 261 Fearless at its inception in the United States and now I want to share the empowerment I witnessed when women conquer their fears and run in a 261 Fearless community,” states Chamberlain Higginbotham.

261 Fearless Team Bloomington Normal IL

261 Fearless is expanding internationally and nationally in other American communities such as Kansas City, Boston, Minneapolis, Doylestown, and Dallas. “I think women in Central New York and across New York State might want to join us by creating their own club to empower women in their own community or become a coach,” Chamberlain Higginbotham exclaims. Women are social by nature and love running to stay healthy, relieve stress and have fun and that’s what 261 Fearless was created to do.

Ann Martin of Victor, New York recently became a 261 Fearless Coach because of her love of running combined with her 38 years as a Physical Education teacher. She states, “Running has given me so much including a positive outlook, a healing path in tough times, a social network, an avenue to continue to compete even as I age.” Martin retires from teaching the end of June and hopes to extend her experience through 261 Fearless to women in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area.

There are numerous ways women can get involved with 261 Fearless, Inc. by becoming a Club Director or Coach through the organization’s educational training program, becoming a member of a club or joining the organization’s friend program that provides access to the global women’s network and opportunities. For more information on getting involved visit http://www.261Fearless.org or locally reach Chamberlain Higginbotham at 315-708-4288

261 and 261 Fearless are trademark-protected brands, with registrations in the United States and throughout the world. Any use of these brands without the express written authorization from 261 Fearless, Inc. for each such use is strictly prohibited.

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