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261 Fearless

Maura Szendey  | Published on 9/27/2020


Maura Szendey

261 Fearless is a global women’s running  group started by Kathrine Switzer, the first female registered finisher of the Boston Marathon in 1967.  The 261 comes from her bib number in that race – which was retired in 2017.  The objective of 261 Fearless is to empower women through non competitive social running/walking.

Clubs meet once/week for an hour and focus on running skills and running/walking (all abilities are welcome).

I learned about 261 Fearless when I was training for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2018.  Kathrine announced that she would have a booth at the expo – and I really wanted to meet her.  While waiting to meet her I chatted with some of the women involved in 261 Fearless and decided I wanted to get involved.  I loved the idea of using running for something bigger than yourself – and being involved in something globally. Since the closest group was in Boston, I decided I would need to become a coach so I could get a group started a little bit closer!

I took the  1 ½ day coach training in September 2019 and then got started with a group in February 2020. We met for a month until COVID hit – but restarted in June. 

I’ve found it’s a great program for women that want to learn more about running and may be intimidated to join a larger club – for women who want to get back into running – for women who just want to get more fit and have some social interaction – really for any women!  And what’s even nicer:  two of the women who joined 261Fearless also joined MVS and have participated in Super Iron Runner Series events.

If you want to check us out (ladies only) – we meet Fridays at 6AM at the North Andover Common.