On Thanksgiving Day, women’s running pioneer Dr. Julia Chase-Brand, 69, will run in the same 4.75-mile race in Manchester, Conn., that she ran in 1961 as a student at Smith College— despite rules that banned women from participating. The Amateur Athletic Union forbid American women to compete in road races, while the Olympics would not let them compete in races longer than a half-mile for fear that their reproductive health would be negatively impacted by the physical strain. When Chase-Brand ran in the Connecticut race 50 years ago, it was widely publicized as an act of civil disobedience. This time, she’s running in celebration of the milestone—and she won’t be in the minority.
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