When Lori Shannon first announced her intent to run a marathon, people responded with more than a hint of incredulity. Lori had no experience and, at 5’3” and a size 16, she didn’t cut the form of a typical distance runner. Even so, she set to work and completed the 1993 New York City Marathon, proving to herself that with the proper training and dedication, she need not live life as a spectator. Since crossing that first finish line, Lori has never looked back; she has since run multiple marathons, competed in triathlons, and ridden her bike cross-country.
Seven years later, Lori founded See Jane Run in San Francisco, hoping to empower women to test their limitations and bolster their own fitness and self-confidence. The female-operated fitness company has since grown to encompass four West Coast locations that sell women’s running gear, including shoes, sports bras, and aerodynamic shower caps. At its four retail locations, like-minded runners come together with free weekly run clubs, giving them a group setting in which to train to meet their own individual goals or prepare for one of See Jane Run’s half marathons or 5Ks.
Girls on the Run of the Bay Area works to build confidence in young girls with recreational running programs, which serve more than 500 girls aged 8?13. The programs meet in groups of about 10 girls twice a week for 10 weeks. Enthusiastic coaches engage the girls in running-based workouts with their peers, and they also address other issues that may affect the girls? lives, such as nutrition, gossip, and standing up for themselves. At the end of the 10-week session, the girls gather for a noncompetitive 5K running event.
SF Mad Dash’s Helluva Halloween 5K run comes as close as any event to answering the question “Who would win in a race: Frankenstein or Dracula?” That’s because the run encourages attendees to dress up in their Halloween costumes and run or walk around Golden Gate Park. Though entertaining on the surface, the core of the fall festivities is charitable, as all of the proceeds benefit the Sunset Cooperative Nursery School.