So what does it mean to get chicked…
CHICKED: -verb. The act of getting passed by a female athlete.
My wife and I have this running argument over the athletic prowess of men and women. My stand is …given equal training, age, physical make up, etc.….females are as equally athletically capable as are male physically equals. She cites genetic research ….and I cite my daily experiences…Her point is the best male in a sport is most able to beat the top female in that sport…OK I agree for now…but it won,t be long until that is no longer the standard. It’s not that I have gone feminist but I see an emerging situation that can’t be denied for female triathletes. On any day of the week I see one guy for every five female athletes running, biking and swimming. Where the hell are all the guys?
I know that females got a late start with endurance sports (anything longer than 1.5 miles) but they have caught up and surpassed many of their male counterparts through share determination and hard work. Two historical examples are Bobbi Gibb and Katherine Switzer who pioneered the way for woman competitors in the Boston Marathon during the late 1960’s.
Most credit Katherine Switzer as being the 1st female to complete the Boston marathon. However, Bobbi Gibb trained for 2 years to run the marathon, and upon applying in 1966, received a letter from the race director informing her that women were not physiologically capable of running marathon distances, and that because of the rules given by AAU, women were not allowed to run more than 1.5 miles, competitively. I think they feared that female parts would fall out on the road like an old muffler if females ran long distances….
That year 1966 Bobbi ran un-registered (no official number) she hid in the bushes, and jumped into the race as it started. What’s strange about Boston marathon lore is Katherine Switzer is the one best known for being the first woman to run the Boston Marathon a year later in 1967 because she ran as a number entrant even though they mistakenly thought she was a man when she applied. When Katherine registered for the race, she signed up as ‘K.V Switzer’, a neutral name meaning her gender was an oversight. Her decision to run came after her coach, Arnie, insisted that a marathon was too far to run for a ‘fragile woman’. After proving him wrong in training, Arnie became her biggest enthusiastic and they ran the distance of the marathon together.
Katherine made world headlines in 1967 after the race official, Jock Semple, tried to physically remove her from the race, shouting “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” …..Her then-boyfriend, Tom, pushed Jock to the ground to ensure Katherine could continue running. After that, she realised she needed to finish the race. “If I don’t finish, people will say ‘women can’t do it’, and they will say I was just doing this for the publicity or something.” Katherine finished, with bloody and blistered feet, after 4 hours 20 minutes.
What is incredible to me is that Bobbi finished the race in 3 hours 21 minutes a year earlier in 1966….. nobody gave her the credit until years later. She chicked everyone who came in behind her….because they were all men….many her age and build…Bobbi Gibb is the Queen Chickster. I ran my 1st Marathon in 1978 in in 3:30….she would have “checked me” by almost 10 minutes..and Katherine Switzerland by an hour….
So what’s the point of this run along memory lane…I guess …it is being from Boston there has only every really been one famous Bobby around here…Bobby Orr… I think it is time to recognize another legend in this town….Bobbi Gibb…Queen Chickster…a legend from The Bushes to the Streets of Boston…