Fearless in Boston

By Submitted

December 15, 2016 12:00 AM

FEARLESS Fearless coach training sees the author, left, running drills with Kathrine Switzer in preparation for the upcoming Boston Marathon, a grueling 40 km annual run.

Susanna Pankiw
For the Source

“The eagle has no fear of adversity.  We need to be like the eagle and have a fearless spirit of a conqueror.”
– Joyce Meyer

Fearless, that’s what Kathrine Switzer, the first female to officially run in the Boston Marathon in 1967, demonstrated. 
She did this in a time when women were not allowed to run marathons. 
In this all male event, she had to defend her 261 bib number against the angry race director who tried to forcibly remove her at the two-mile mark. 
She courageously completed the 42.2 km race and her 261 number became a symbol of fearlessness to women around the globe. 
Switzer has dedicated her career to creating opportunities for women to run and recently created a global non-profit, 261® Fearless, Inc. 
In celebration of her 50th anniversary of that barrier-breaking run, Kathrine will again run the 2017 Boston Marathon.
My name is Susanna Pankiw, I am a local runner, teacher, wife and mother of three. 
On April 17, I will be running the Boston Marathon as a member of Team 261 Fearless, a group of more than 100 female runners who are raising money to empower women globally through the non-profit founded by the pioneer marathoner, Switzer. 
The purpose of 261 Fearless is to create social change through running. 
I took up the road in 2010 and, after experiencing the many positive effects of running, it became a passion of mine.
After running in several half-marathons and other local races, I was presented with the opportunity to become a 261 Fearless ambassador and the chance to help unite women globally through running. 
In June, I ventured to Denver , Colo., and became a certified 261 Fearless coach. 
In my passion for running and desire to help empower women, I decided to bring the 261 Fearless mission to Lloydminster and am currently in the process of creating 261 Fearless Club Lloydminster, the first 261 club in Canada!
What is 261 Fearless? 
261 Fearless uses running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through the creation of communication platforms, clubs, training opportunities, education, ambassadors, merchandising and events.
Through these networking opportunities, 261 Fearless breaks down the barriers of geography and creates a global community for women runners of all abilities to support and talk to each other, encouraging healthy living and a positive sense of self and fearlessness. 
261 Fearless believes women who run find the strength and fearlessness to take on the many other challenges in their lives.
Financial support helps develop the 261 Fearless programs, services and curriculum.
As the organization continues to roll out its unique and historically-linked components, the outreach to women looking to utilize running as a tool to empower themselves and overcome adversity will grow globally.
You can learn more at www.261fearless.org.
So when presented with the opportunity to join Team 261 Fearless, I took it! 
The team fundraising goal is $1,000,261 and I have committed to a personal goal of raising at least $10,000 by April.
I hope the community will join me in supporting 261 Fearless, Inc. by making a gift today.
Donations are fully tax deductible and can be made online at https://www.crowdrise.com/261FearlessBoston2017/fundraiser/susannapankiw.
Or, if you’d prefer, you can write a check to 261 Fearless, Inc. and mail it to: Box 263, Marwayne, AB T0B 2X0.
Companies that participate in a matching gift program, can apply to have their employees gift to 261 Fearless, Inc. matched.
My vision is to raise enough money so more women can utilize the 261 clubs as a means to realizing their full potential through their personal empowerment. 
Like the soaring eagle, these donations will make the opportunities for running accessible to all women. 
Please consider donating today and help me make these opportunities a reality.

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