First woman to complete a US marathon dies in Capitola

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First woman to complete a US marathon dies in Capitola

Arlene Pieper died on Feb. 11 in Capitola, California at the age of 90. Pieper made history in the U.S. sports world but it wasn’t until 50 years after her historic feat that anyone even knew what she did. According to the New York Times, Pieper was the first woman to ever complete a sanctioned marathon in the United States. Eight years before, Kathrine Switzer made headlines for running the Boston Marathon. In 1959, Pieper completed the Pikes Peak Marathon, running 8,000 feet up to the top of Pikes Peak, and back down, in 9 hours and 16 minutes. She never ran another marathon in her life. But, 50 years after that race in Colorado organizers of the marathon tried to track her down. In doing so they discovered that she had made history, something that even Pieper had not known until then. “In 2019, to mark the 60th anniversary of Pieper Stine’s marathon step for woman runners everywhere, a group of women runners dressed in white sleeveless blouses, white shorts, and headscarves and hats gathered to run up Pikes Peak to mark the occasion. And like the rock star of the trail running world she was for women, Pieper Stine showed up for the celebration,” reported Jill Rothenberg of the Colorado Sun.

Arlene Pieper died on Feb. 11 in Capitola, California at the age of 90.

Pieper made history in the U.S. sports world but it wasn’t until 50 years after her historic feat that anyone even knew what she did.

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According to the New York Times, Pieper was the first woman to ever complete a sanctioned marathon in the United States. Eight years before, Kathrine Switzer made headlines for running the Boston Marathon.

In 1959, Pieper completed the Pikes Peak Marathon, running 8,000 feet up to the top of Pikes Peak, and back down, in 9 hours and 16 minutes. She never ran another marathon in her life.

But, 50 years after that race in Colorado organizers of the marathon tried to track her down. In doing so they discovered that she had made history, something that even Pieper had not known until then.

“In 2019, to mark the 60th anniversary of Pieper Stine’s marathon step for woman runners everywhere, a group of women runners dressed in white sleeveless blouses, white shorts, and headscarves and hats gathered to run up Pikes Peak to mark the occasion. And like the rock star of the trail running world she was for women, Pieper Stine showed up for the celebration,” reported Jill Rothenberg of the Colorado Sun.

Contributed by local news sources

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