Hello, hello! My name is Bryn, and I am the Communications and Public Relations Intern here at MTPC. Sadly, my internship will be finishing up in just a few weeks, but before I go I want to share some thoughts about something that I have loved since I was a little kid: Marathon Monday.
Marathon Monday is awesome! Runners and tourists from around the world converge in Boston for the event. Almost the entire city of Boston gets out of work or school, or just takes a break from life in general, to celebrate those of us amazingly capable of completing 26.2 straight miles on a sunny New England day. It’s a wonderful induction into warmer months, whether you are sweating at mile 16 or just watching happily from the sidelines.
The marathon has always been an emblem of perseverance and building community among people from all walks of life. After last year’s race turned into a tragic event when two bombs went off, running or attending the marathon this year especially showed perseverance despite fear and obstacles.
As I stood on the sidelines cheering on the marathoners this year, the sense of community overwhelmed me. I was not only there watching an amazing athletic competition but also standing in solidarity with runners from all walks of life and from all around the world to support them as they moved toward their goals.
In celebrating inclusion and diversity, MTPC would also like to introduce you to the self-proclaimed first transgender woman to run the Boston Marathon, Jennifer McCreath!
Jennifer McCreath became a dedicated marathon maniac after she ran her first marathon in Mississauga, Ontario, in 2007. Since then she has run 30 marathons, including the Boston Marathon twice.
Out of the many marathons McCreath has run, the Boston Marathon holds special significance because it is the first marathon she ran registered as a woman: “I called Boston again, I explained myself: ‘I’d really like to run as a female. I’m not going to win your race, and it would mean a lot to me from a dignity and respect standpoint to run as a female.’ And they said okay! So I was happy. At that point I had decided never to run as a male except for this Boston race, and in the end I didn’t even have to do that. So off I went. I ran Charlottesville, Virginia, and two days later I ran Boston, and then five days later I was in Ontario. Three marathons in nine days.”*
McCreath’s achievements speak to the effects of inclusion and acceptance in athletics. The Boston Marathon became something special for McCreath: “I had gotten the competitive bug. I didn’t want to run marathons just for fun any more, I wanted to see how well I could do. And you say the words ‘Boston Marathon’ and it means something to people who run. Even outside of the running community.”
McCreath further comments on the significance of the Boston Marathon on her Marathon Maniac profile: “This was my first marathon in the female category and it was my first Boston Marathon. I savored the experience all the way and crossed the finish line with an extreme sense of pride and accomplishment.”*
We’re glad to know that the Boston Marathon, the pinnacle of marathon running, is trans-inclusive. We hope that other events and sports will follow our example and end the exclusion of trans people in athletics.