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June 12, 1972

The Oakland Tribune

Santa Rosa Runner Takes First

Darryl Beardall of Santa Rosa took first place in the seventh annual Woodminster 9.25 mile run held yesterday in the Oakland hills.

Beardall was given a five minute handicap and passed the finish line of the cross country race in 54 minutes, 13 seconds. His adjusted time was 49:13.

Jack Leydig, scratch runner of San Mateo, toured the course in the fastest time, 52:10, and placed eighth overall.

Harry Cordellos of San Francisco, who is blind, captured fourth place. He completed the long run in 71:43 and had a 20 minute handicap. He was the first runner to start and was guided around the hilly course by a close friend.

James Shettler of Pleasant Hill was the top Eastbay finisher. He was given a five minute handicap and broke the tape in 56:48.

Dan Anderson of Castro Valley (52:39) and Richard Kimball of Concord (52:44) had the second and third best adjusted times of the day behind Leydig.

Elaine Pedersen of San Francisco was the first woman to finish. She placed 65th overall with a time of 77:40 with a fifteen minute handicap.

The first junior to cross the line was Jeffrey Gregory of Livermore.

In a special one mile children's race, ten-year-old Bruce MacMahon of Walnut Creek took first with a time of 6:30.


They're Running All Over Oakland's Hills

While most people were observing a day of rest yesterday, a band of hardy runners slogged through the Oakland hills in the seventh annual Woodminster race. George Mulvaney leads a gang through a shady spot at left, Elaine Pedersen of San Francisco was the first woman to finish and Jack Leydig shows off trophy for fastest time, 52:10 for 9.25 miles but he was eighth overall.

- article submitted by Jack Leydig

 


 

1978

"The Running Saga of Walter Stack" by Bob Bishop (excerpt)

[Page 47-48] A 1968 newsletter - proclaimed later as "all the news of the fit in print" - billed the DSE as "the perfect place to get the little woman out of the washing machine and into a pair of tennies." This sounds outrageously sexist in 1978, but ten years ago, the statement bordered on militant feminism.

Knowing that some women might be discouraged by regularly being beaten by even themost visibly out of shape men, Stack proposed that the DSE establish a separate division for women and children. Elaine Pedersen, an early DSE member and one of the first women marathoners, opposed this, on the grounds that togetherness was more likely to foster women's and children's participation. She also felt the women would advance faster running with men. Men received five place ribbons, and Stack insisted the women should receive an equal number. Even if there were only five women in the race, they all got ribbons. This prompted some grumbling from men protesting that "We had to compete for ours, all you had to do was show up." The protests of the men were ignored by Stack, of whom one club member said, "Once he gets an idea in his head, he just railroads it through." Stack's insistence on place ribbons for women helped get them enthusiastic about running. "When you've got four, five, or six hundred people running in a race," he says, "the first woman would probably come in about 40th or 50th. Giving a first place ribbon to a woman who came in 40th or 50th was the kind of thing that would bring her back the next week. That's what we were after."

Although women may have been welcome at the DSE, they initially met resistance at almost every starting line. Elaine Pedersen, a 29-year-old airline stewardess supervisor in 1966, started running out of boredom as she watched her friend Pax Beale train for the upcoming Bay-to-Breakers. Hoping that the running would get her in shape for tennis, she wound up giving up tennis for running. Pedersen decided to run the Dipsea in 1966, but was told that "the gun wouldn't be fired until I got out of the starting area." Pedersen jumped in the race after the start, becoming in all likelihood the first woman to run the course. (Old photographs document the existence of women on the course, but, clad in bloomers and bonnets, it's unlikely that they were running the course. In 1968, the first year women were allowed to run in the Dipsea, a 5-year-old DSE member, Maryetta Boitano, would astound everyone by being the first woman finisher. She also has a marathon PR of 3:01, at age 11.) Elaine Pedersen says that the sight of a woman training on the streets of San Francisco was then "so foreign to most people that I was always being stopped and asked who I was running away from."

The following spring at the annual Bay-to-Breakers run, Pedersen and a handful of other women again met with resistence from race officials. Although the Bay-to-Breakers was never delayed due to the presence of women, they were denied the certificates given to male runners at the race's end. Each year Stack and like-minded male runners would volunteer to man the booths where certificates were given out. "We'd grab a couple dozen," Stack says, "and make sure that each woman that ran got one." Much of the resistence to women's running was attributable to the AAU's deification of RULES - and some of it was just plain sexism. But more than either of these obstacles, a woman's ability to run long distances was in doubt. Because running had long been something women didn't do,it was too commonly assumed that running was something women couldn't do.

- excerpt submitted by Ruth Anderson

 


 

Cover of book, "The Female Runner," with Petie's image.

- photo submitted by Alan Pedersen

 

 

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Last updated: March 20, 2004