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1970

NorCal Distance Running Annual (excerpt)

Elaine Pedersen has probably been running road races in Northern California longer than any other woman. She has competed all over the country and this year she went to Spain to run in their National Championships with Flory Rodd and Pax Beale. In her best efforts at Petaluma, she broke 3:40 in fine style, recording a 3:38:47. At Seaside, Oregon, in February, Elaine also ran well, finishing in 3:42:33. Although she often runs in shorter races, she claims to like the marathon best and should continue to improve for many years to come. What the Association needs is to have a lot more Elaine Pedersens in the action...right Pax?

- excerpt submitted by Jack Leydig

 


 

August 1971

NorCal Running Review (excerpt)

Northern California Portrait

MEET ELAINE PEDERSEN: San Francisco, CA (Dolphin/South End Runners.) 5'5", 118 lbs., 34 years old, born Dec. 27, 1936 (Connecticut,) single. Began running in 1966 and have done so sporadically ever since. Self-coached, with a little help from my friends. Occupation: stewardess supervisor with United Airlines.

TRAINING: This varies due to my work (which involves a lot of travel.) I try to get about 30 miles a week but sometimes it is only 10. Runs are mostly in the evening in the city. Some weeks I've been able to get in 50 miles, but that is rare. Longest ever training run was a marathon.

BEST TIMES: Mile - 6:09, Dipsea - 70:15, Marathon - 3:38:47 (Petaluma, 1970.) Favorite frequency of competition: whenever AAU and my work schedule permit, usually once a month. Favorite distances: prefer about 10 miles, rolling hills or trails (no city smog) -- the Dipsea is my favorite race.

DESCRIPTION OF RACING & TRAINING: My training varies according to races coming up. For the Dipsea, I run the course as much as possible and the hills of San Francisco (steps up Fillmore Street are ideal!) For marathons I do long flat runs to build endurance. Very little speed work. Most of my training is aimed at building a base for the longer races, since my strong point is certainly stamina rather than speed. In races, if the distance is under 10 miles, I just push as hard as I can all the way, although I usually start out more slowly than most. For a marathon, I pace the clock. In any race my goal is to beat my previous best time, and of course, whoever happens to be just up ahead. Aspirations: there is a rumor that women will be allowed to enter Boston officially next year. I'd love to qualify with a sub-3:30 marathon before that time -- perhaps at Napa or Petaluma.

- excerpt submitted by Jack Leydig

 


 

April 1972

unknown source

Nina Kuscski, the 32-year-old mother of two finished first in the ladies race,
is flanked by Elaine Pedersen, left who placed second, and Kathy Miller
who took the third spot.

Crown 1st Woman Marathon Victor

Nina, 32, Is a New Yorker

Nina Kuscsik, 32, of the Suffolk A. C., New York, her laurel wreath tilted over one eye, did a final sprint after she became the first official winner of the women's division of the Boston Marathon

As she was helped into the improvised ladies' quarters in the lower lobby of the Prudential Center, Nina gasped: "Don't stop me...where's the locker room."

There she collapsed like a rag doll on the tiled floor, head on knees. But to Dr. Amy Kaztner of Brockton, who ministered to the ladies' blistered feet, she said, "I'm fine, but do I have to get right now?"

Dr. Kaztner got down on her knees and tended to the feet that had carried Nina the 26 miles from Hopkinton to Boston in 3 hours, 10 minutes and 58 seconds.

Nina ran in the Marathon for the third successive year, but this was the first in which women ran officially. Last year she ran second to Sara Mae Berman of Cambridge, who came in fifth among the females this time.

As she was taking a shower, and the second place winner, Elaine Pedersen, 35, of San Francisco was arriving, it was learned that there were no towels! The girls made do with those small folded paper ones.

Elaine, an attractive blond who is an United Airlines hostess supervisor and a nurse, got into running by joining the joggers. She and the other winning gals disclaimed any strong Women's Lib feeling.

"I think it's great that they let us run concurrently with the men, but I don't think women should try to compete with men all the time," she said. "This way we girls really compete against each other."

- article contributed by Jack Leydig

 


 

April 1972

The Boston Globe

Mrs. Kuscsik happy despite 'poor' time

by Margo Miller, Globe Staff

The winner, Mrs. Nina Kuscsik, thought her time of 3:10:26 was "pretty lousy." She's used to doing the Marathon in 2:56.

Runner-up Elaine Pedersen came in salt-streaked but looking fresh as a daisy at 3:20:35 and said that she couldn't have done it without the "wonderful Boston crowds cheering you for the whole 26 miles."

And when it was all over, Kathy Miller who was third at 3:29:51, recalled that last week she'd had a dream that Elaine Pedersen had beaten her. "Who's Elaine Pedersen?" asked her coach.

This 76th Boston Marathon marked the first time women were legal entrants. Mrs. Kuscsik, Miss Pedersen and others of the Boston Nine "ladies" (as the crowds persisted in calling them) had run before unofficially.

"I hid in a crowd in '68 and snuck into the race," Elaine Pedersen recalled yesterday. That year and in 1969 she came in east from San Francisco with her boyfriend, Pax Beale. Their jogging dates led them to work up to Marathon distance. He finished behind her yesterday.

The trim, 115 lb., blonde Miss Pedersen, 35, is a stewardess supervisor for United Airlines. On Feb. 26 she won the Seattle, Oregon, Women's Marathon and broke 3:30 for the first time. That qualified her for the Boston.

The Seaside race, like the Boston, has women running "concurrently" with men. "I don't think it's a good idea to run against men," Miss Pedersen said yesterday. "Physically and genetically we're not up to it yet."

That got immediate rebuttal from Vincent Chiapetta, president of the Roadrunners Club of America and the man who has been promoting female long distance running for four years.

"Women probably have a greater potential than men as Marathoners," Chiappetta said yesterday. "Look at the average (male) winner -- he's between five-foot-six and five-foot-eight and weighs about 130 lbs. That's natural for women, women have a natural build for running.

"They're light boned, they have stamina, a good cardio-vascular history and lung ratio," Chiappetta said.

Winner Mrs. Kuscsik, 33, and the mother of three young children, has run 12 Marathons in three years. Her husband Dick beat her yesterday, finishing 357th in 3:06:35.

There was some confusion, but officials figured that Mrs. Kuscsik's time would have been good for about 410th place among the 1081 men. She said the relatively poor times for the women runners may have been due to "trying too hard at the beginning" out at Hopkinton.

The heat can't have helped: Kathy Miller said she had to whip into a gas station and cut off her black leotard legs before rejoining the race.

For the winner, the "satisfaction was being first in the first official time women could run," said Mrs. Kuscsik peering out at the press from under a big floppy laurel leaf.

Practice running, said Elaine Pedersen who does about 50 miles a week, is a great way to day dream and "solve a lot of your problems." But when you race your mind has got to be on form. "You aim for an eigh minute mile," she said, and yesterday when she realized she was doing about a 7:15 mile, the Boston Marathon was a great place to be.

The only hitch came at the end when the women's locker room below ground at the Pru was discovered to be utterly lacking in soap and towels.

- article contributed by Jack Leydig

 


 

April 1972

unknown source, ~partial~

Nina Ran, Ran and Ran

(continued from page 1)

"It was pretty lousy time," [Nina] said from the floor of the women's-for-the-day locker room in the basement of the Prudential building. "I've done better," she continued. "Maybe we all tried too hard in the beginning."

And then she winced a little while Dr. Amy Katzew, a podiatrist from Brockton, treated her blistered feet.

ELAINE PEDERSEN, a "thirsty 35," as she described her age, was faring better on her feet as she bounded through the women's locker room door with the "MEN" sign on it. She had just placed second in 3:20.35.

"The crowds in Boston are marvelous," the stewardess supervisor from San Francisco said. "They cheered all the way except for the one spectator who told me, 'Get your own race.'"

"Elaine, you came in second? It's those Californians in warm weather," was the assessment of Kathy Miller, third place finisher with 3:29.51. Kathy, a candidate for a master's degree in public relations, added she lost some time when she repaired to a gas station to remove her leotard before continuing on in a much-cooler white tennis dress.

Pat Barrett, a 17-year-old senior at St. Rose High School in Belmar, N.J., came in fourth in 3:40.29.

SARA MAE BERMAN of Cambridge, who has run unofficially in previous Marathons with a record of 3:05.07, came in fifth in 3:48.30. Describing her effort this year as "the worst I've ever done," she said a strain of the Hong Kong flu hampered her training this year.

"After I recovered, I found I'd get extremely tired or I'd catch cold," said the mother of three who also serves as secretary to the Cambridge Sports Union, which she and her husband founded for those interested in distance running.

Surveying her surroundings, Mrs. Berman recalled post-race accomodations for women in the past three years she ran in the Marathon. "The first year the locker room was the dressing room for skating. The second year it was a ladies room. Last year I didn't bother changing, because it was a warm day.

"I hope the men don't get mad at us, though," she continued. "Nine girls here have the use of two showers. That leaves about 12 showers for close to 1200 men."

THE LOCKER ROOM talk continued at a press conference with Mrs. Kuscsik, a physical fitness buff, disclosing how she took up running. "I used to ride a racing bike. Then one day I got a flat tire. I was told it would take two weeks to fix it. So I took up jogging instead as exercise."

She has run in the Boston Marathon four times, and of next year says, "Sure I'll come back. But I don't have plans to ever run as hard as I did today. Things might be different tomorrow."

In the meantime, she said she was going to content herself with some beef stew before returning to Long Island with her husband Dick, who also ran in the Marathon and placed ahead of her.

THE THREE WINNERSin the women's division of the Marathon.
From left, Elaine Pedersen, second place; Nina Kuscsik, first, and Kathy Miller, third.

- article submitted by Jack Leydig

 


 

April 1972

The San Francisco Examiner

Breakers Run Next Big Test

BOSTON - Up next for a group of Bay Area runners who did their own thing in chasing winner Olavi Suomalainen in yesterday's Boston marathon is the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race on Sunday, May 21.

Among the Marathon participants yesterday was San Francisco Paxton Beale's Cathedral Hill Medical Center Joggers, most of whom can be expected to gambol in The Examiner- sponsored 7.8-mile trek.

Elaine Pedersen, representing the Cathedral Hill gang, turned in a great performance in Boston yesterday, placing second in the Women's division as the distaff side was permitted to enter for the first time. The talented Miss Pedersen was second to Nina Kuscsik, 33-year old Huntington, N.Y. housewife, the former timed in 3:08.58 for the 26-mile grind and Miss Pedersen clocked in 3:20.35.

Victor Mora, a Columbian but sporting colors of San Jose's West Valley Track Club, finished strongly yesterday, a threat to the race's winner. Suomalainen, 25-year old engineer from Finland, was timed in 2:15.39 as he won by fewer than 100 yards. Mora's clocking was 2:15.57.

While over 1200 runners competed in the Marathon, the Bay to Breakers event, granted an easier task, is expected to lure well over 2000 men, women and children for the second consecutive year.

Besides Mora, other West Valley finishers were Alvaro Meija, last year's Boston winner, who came in eigth; Jack Leydig of San Mateo, who placed 22nd; and Joe McDevitt of Oakland, who was 24th.

About her performance yesterday, Miss Pedersen said:

"Past performances and best times mean nothing because when you get back on the tough Boston course that's where it counts. Unlike the other girls, I didn't train 80 miles a week. I did it on 40 miles, so I'm absolutely elated with my finish."

Suomalainen, attempting his first marathon, gained ground on "Heartbreak Hill," where many other runners have faltered, and fought off a late challenge by Mora.

The blond Finn, who returned the marathon wreath to his country for the first time in 10 years, overtook Mexican Jacinto Sabinal about 4¼ miles from the finish, then outfooting the fast-closing Mora by fewer than 100 yards.

Elaine Pedersen Elated with finish

- article submitted by Jack Leydig

 

 

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Last updated: March 20, 2004