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Lynda B. Ransdell and Christine L. Wells

Women’s running has made significant gains during the past century. The Feminine Sportive Federation International, an international organization for women in sport, was an early advocate for women’s running. They lobbied for the inclusion of 5 new women’s events in the 1928 Olympics, the longest of which was 800 meters. Unfortunately, some competitors in the 800 m event collapsed, providing “rationale” for excluding women from distance racing (Noakes, 1991). Later, the 800 meter event was re-introduced in the 1960 Olympics, and so the interest in “women’s distance running” was re-kindled. Women continued to call for greater challenges, and eventually in 1972, they were officially allowed to run the Boston Marathon (Noakes, 1991). Today, distances of 5,10, and 42 kilometers make up the majority of road races throughout the country. These events are not limited to top-flight women athletes racing for fame and fortune or a chance to represent America in the Olympic Games. Rather, thousands of women—of all shapes, running styles and fitness levels—enter these weekend races, most with little hope of winning a prize.

Currently, women runners are recognized at the national level as “open” (any age) or “masters” (40 years of age and older) competitors. This separation is important because performance varies with age. How age affects performance depends upon a number of factors including overall health, injury status, training, and genetic endowment. Considerable individual variability exists, but at some point in middle-age, performance declines. Although equal performance is not likely from outstanding 45 year old and 25 year old competitors, each may be considered an “elite” performer when competition is separated into age groups. The separation of athletes into masters and open categories and further into age groups results in opportunities for many to receive recognition, and for competitors to set and achieve goals relative to their age. Age-group competition has attracted thousands and thousands of “new” runners and encouraged former competitors to “stay with it for a few more years.”

Very little is known about women who run at the “masters” level. There is general information about how aging affects the male athlete’s performance, but little information about how aging affects women’s performances. This paper is a review of the literature on masters women runners and a description of 1) their physical and physiological characteristics, 2) their performance, 3) their performance decline with advancing age, and 4) the health related benefits of physical activity.

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Matthew R. Hodler

around the experiences of athletes who are men, with some passing examples of women athletes. Leonard does have an entire chapter devoted to women athletes, but he misses an opportunity to explore relationships between Whiteness and Masculinity. Such as: how is the centering of Whiteness related to the

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Rachel Allison

). Accordingly, they may not perceive either college attendance or their sports participation to be equally beneficial to life skill development compared to white women. However, most research on race among college women athletes has comprised small-scale, qualitative studies at single campuses, and no study to

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Colleen English

even celebrate victorious female Olympians. However, ideas about femininity and female fragility created a culture where many Americans could not fully embrace and support U.S. women athletes participating in strenuous, competitive sport. The Sporting Republic The sporting republic, according to

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Nancy E. Spencer

representations of women athletes, Title IX and the governance of U.S. women’s sports, and sex testing in international competition. The historical detail is reminiscent of Cahn’s ( 1994 ) Coming on Strong and Festle’s ( 1996 ) Playing Nice . In my view, all three works are brilliantly written and well

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Gwendolyn M. Weatherford, Betty A. Block and Fredrick L. Wagner

women’s sports or women athletes have been given greater prominence (e.g., gymnastics) or progress toward equal prominence to men (e.g., tennis and soccer), overall there is still a great need for sport leaders to make participation, access, and equal opportunity a priority in all areas. In light of

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Pirkko Markula

Patricia Vertinsky’s analysis on the role of sport in American modern dancer Ted Shawn’s work and Montserrat Martin, Nancy Spencer, and Toni Bruce’s work on the representations of American, New Zealand, and Spanish women athletes in the popular reality show Dancing with the Stars . As I map the

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Kathryn Henne and Madeleine Pape

disproportionately target women of color from the Global South. 7 Historical analyses suggest that there is a longstanding preoccupation with the transgressive bodies of non-Western “Others” ( Henne, 2014 ; Pieper, 2016 ), which has focused on muscular women athletes from the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War

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Roger Gilles

women can rightly be called America’s first great women athletes, if “great” is understood to mean both highly accomplished and widely celebrated. Yet despite the general recognition that the sport did exist, the women and their accomplishments have been largely forgotten by sport historians and even

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Dawn Heinecken

historical representation of women in sport is problematic for continuing to feminize women athletes and coaches in conventional ways. To examine the series, I used a discourse analytic approach, a common method in cultural studies. Viewing the text as a rhetorical construction rather than a direct