WRCC Board member and Vice President Charlotte Lettis Richardson sat down with Cindy Kuzma, a freelance writer out of Chicago, to discuss what women's competitive running was like in the 1970s. During the interview, Charlotte recounts her experiences running and racing from that era.
Starting Line 1928 is an oral history project set out to document the stories of the pioneers of women’s distance running in their own voices. Cindy Kuzma is part of their leadership team and regularly writes for Runner’s World, Women’s Running, SELF, and more; She is co-author of Breakthrough Women's Running: Dream Big and Train Smart and Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries, and co-host of The Injured Athletes Club podcast.
To listen to this excellent podcast, hit the link below:
This year the focus of the WRCC's zoom get together was on our chapter heads discussing how one of their 2021 seasons transpired--how they worked towards their goals, what were the results, and what did they learn from their season. Charlotte Lettis Richardson moderated and surprised the group by bringing a special guest, 1984 Olympic marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson, to our meeting. Joanie spoke to the group about her personal coaches during her career. The chapter leads spoke on their coaching experiences throughout 2021. A drawing for WRCC gear was also held.
The WRCC held its popular "Speaker Series" on August 11th via Zoom. The topic was eating disorders and how to fuel for sports and life. Here are short biographies on our two incredible speakers:
Rachael Steil - An author of the self-help memoir Running in Silence, Rachel is the manager and founder of the Running in Silence nonprofit organization (runninginsilence.org). The Michigan-based coach and runner earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Aquinas College in 2015 and has been writing for the Running in Silence website since its start in 2012. On her website, she openly shares her eating disorder experience, making the site a Top 100 Eating Disorder Blog.
Heidi Strickler - Heidi is a Registered Sports Dietitian, competitive endurance athlete and trail runner, and avid lover of the mountains and outdoors. She specializes in female-specific performance nutrition, metabolic efficiency, and plant-based nutrition. Heidi published The Plant Based Metabolic Efficiency Recipe Book (https://www.enrgperformance.com/electronic-recipe-books) in October 2018. While originally from Utah, she now calls both Seattle, WA and Denver, CO home, bouncing between her job with eNRG Performance in Denver and her husband and pooch in Seattle.
Top Left to Right: Amy Yoder Begley, Shalane Flanagan, Laura Caldwell, (Bottom, L-R) Lauren Fleshman, Shelia Burrell and Charlotte Lettis Richardson. Photo credit: Women's Running.
Coach Ramos will provide insight into her 13 years of coaching to the WRCC community. She will highlight her successes, struggles, and the important lessons she has learned in her coaching journey through the years as a high school, community club, and NCAA Division II coach, plus private coaching and her current role at NCAA Division I UNLV, while also working with the post-collegiate team, Las Vegas Gold. Ramos, a Florida State University 800m & 1500m specialist, will also detail her most recent effort in co-founding the female coaching mentorship program through USTFCCCA. We believe you will come away feeling inspired to continue doing the work you are doing, while also motivated to persist in changing the landscape for women in coaching.
Charlotte Richardson's Interview with Running Legend Jacqueline Hansen (Part 1 & 2)
Jacqueline Hansen was a child of the 60's and a feminist in the 70's. She began running her senior year in HS. By 24 she won her first marathon in Culver City. In 1973 she won Boston. Over the next two years Jacqueline broke the WR in the marathon 3 times. She was the first woman to break 2:40 over 26.2 miles with a time of 2:38.19. Beyond her extraordinary running career, Jacquleine Hansen was the key agitator for the inclusion of the marathon and the 3K in the Olympics in 1984. Later she helped orchestrate the addition of the 10K in 1988, and the 5k in 1996. The incredible story of a woman who fought so others could run distances in the Olympics is fascinating and bittersweet. A pioneer runner and a great feminist who believed that women could and should run longer distances was motivated by her sense of justice. A. story full of drama and urgency, we get a glimpse back in time when women were just beginning their journey in distance running.
The WRCC's most recent interview is a 2-part series with Jesuit HS (OR) Coach Tom Rothenberger. Rothenberger has coached XC and T&F for close to 40 years. One of the most successful HS coaches in the United States, Tom began his life as number 8 of 9 children without the means and support to go to college. From a coach’s discovery in his sophomore year at Lakeridge HS (OR), to a standout 1500 runner in his junior year, Tom’s running gained him the opportunity to go to Boise State University. At BSU, one word written on a chalkboard in an Education class changed his way of thinking about coaching. Along with state and regional success as a coach, Tom was voted National Girls XC Coach of the Year in 2006. Coach “Roth” shares his inspirations, his coaching philosophy, and his secrets to success in this 2-part interview. What was that word written on the chalkboard? Listen to this fascinating interview with Tom Rothenberger and find out--and be inspired by this extraordinary master coach!
TO MEET OUR CORE TEAM & LEARN WHAT WE ARE ABOUT
WHEN: Saturday, October 17th, 1:00PM (PDT) VIA ZOOM
The Women's Running Coaches Collective
exists to support, unite, inform, inspire, encourage and empower women coaches at all levels of our sport.
#33 - WRCC Interview, "Christi Smith Ryan - Head Track and Field Coach, Central Catholic HS, Portland, Oregon"
"From a childhood of humble beginnings in Columbus, Ohio, to a State Championship in HS and a D1 NCAA Heptathlon Championship while at the University of Akron, Christi Smith Ryan is now the inspirational Head Coach at Central Catholic HS in Portland, Oregon. She talks about growing up in Columbus, her extraordinary athletic career at the U of Akron, and how she leads her team through love and inspiration at Central Catholic HS. She talks about being a woman, a coach of color, how to cultivate athleticism in XC and T & F, and the importance of diversity and openness in our world. Coach Smith Ryan is the whole package--from extraordinary athlete to extraordinary coach." - Charlotte Richardson
We exist to support, unite, inform, inspire, encourage and empower women coaches at all levels of our sport.