Supporter Spotlight: Judy runs for London!

Chloe Halpenny | May 02, 2018
Judy participating in an all-women race

Running for women’s rights

26.2 miles. Over 40,000 finishers. The biggest annual fundraising event in the world. And this year – with temperatures reaching over 24C – the hottest on record. You guessed it – we’re talking about the one and only London Marathon, an annual running event attracting athletes from countries across the globe.  

This year, Womankind had a team of ten incredible runners racing for us. On our behalf, these ten suffered blisters and shin splints, consumed their weight in pasta, and have already raised nearly £25,000 in support of our work with women’s movements around the world. Amazing!

Introducing: Judy Taing

Judy with her finishers' medal post-raceMeet Judy, one of our inspirational runners who travelled from New York City for the London Marathon – her first marathon of six in 2018. She has raised £4,000 and counting for Womankind, and finished the race in an impressive 4 hours and 6 minutes. For context, that means she averaged 9 minutes and 24 seconds per mile and finished in the top 20% of her division. Adding to that, Judy’s time was faster than 65% of men runners – if that’s not woman power, we’re not sure what is!

We sat down to chat with Judy – feminist, runner, and Womankind supporter extraordinaire – about why she runs, her message for other runners, and her London Marathon experience. Read on to see what she had to say!

There are so many charities participating in the London Marathon - what inspired you to run for Womankind?

I wanted to run for a charity whose mission aligned with my beliefs and passions. This past year and a half in the United States has drawn a lot of attention to women's rights issues, and has woken up a nation. More than ever, people are speaking up and fighting, and I'm proud to support any organisation that helps with that fight, wherever it may be. 

How long have you been running for? What inspired you to start running, and what do you love about it?

I've been running on and off for five years, but consistently since last June. It started when I first moved from Los Angeles to New York City and agreed to run a half marathon as a way to explore my new home and make new friends.

While I still don't love the act of running, I love the running community. It's hard not to be inspired when you're surrounded by women who are constantly pushing boundaries and breaking barriers and by men who recognise that we're a force to be reckoned with. We're on the same team and we all have the same goal: to see each other succeed. The camaraderie, the positivity, the competitive spirit – it's all so intoxicating and addictive. Runner's high goes beyond the confines of the race; I feel myself breathing it every day now.

 Chiara, Judy, and Brynna celebrating post-race

How do you think running and feminism overlap?

The beauty of running is that it's non-discriminatory when it comes to gender. We all run the same race. We all get the same opportunity to shine. It's a level playing field. And the best part? Despite having different goals, we're all rooting for each other to win.

Did you have any goals for this marathon?

To have fun and make Womankind Worldwide proud that they chose me to help represent them (author’s note: we sure are!).

 

How was your London Marathon experience overall? Are there any memorable moments?

Challenging, but memorable. Training in New York City winter conditions didn't prepare me for the heatwave, but seeing all the costumed runners and charity supporters were a great distraction. It reminded me why I was there: to represent Womankind. And I couldn't have asked for a better tour of the city! 

What are your future running plans - do you have a next race planned?

I have the Berlin, Chicago, and New York City marathons lined up this year, and am hopeful that I'll get into Tokyo and Boston 2019 to close out the Abbot World Marathon Majors series. After last year’s NYC marathon, a friend and I decided to challenge ourselves to complete all the majors in a year, starting with London 2018 and ending with Boston 2019, and to do it all for charity. You can follow our RUN4GOOD journey here.

Do you have a message for other women and girls considering taking up running?

Just do it. Not once have I ever regretted going for a run. Runners come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and speeds, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a community more welcoming and supportive.

 

Join the Womankind team!Cardboard race sign cheering on Womankind's ten runners

We are so grateful to Judy as well as the dozens of other runners from around the world who have laced up their trainers in the name of Womankind. 

Wondering how you can get in on the fun? You’re in luck – we are currently looking for runners for the 2019 London Marathon! Alternatively, if you prefer sticking to the sidelines, consider donating to Judy’s campaign instead. Happy running, everyone!

 

 

 


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