The Washington PostThe Washington Post

I can’t outrun the risks of being a woman runner. And I’m sick of it.

By Melissa A. Sullivan

10 Sep 2022 · 3 min read

Melissa A. Sullivan is a three-time Marine Corps Marathon finisher and is training for her fourth in October. She despairs at how non-neutral training is when women fear for their lives.

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I will never forget when I charged up the final hill to complete my first Marine Corps Marathon in October 2018. At the base of the Iwo Jima memorial in Arlington, a young servicemember draped a medal with the famous eagle, globe and anchor insignia around my neck and congratulated me with a resounding OORAH!

Conquering those grueling 26.2 miles was exhilarating. I felt strong. I felt confident. I felt empowered. Until I went on a run a few days later.

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