Welcome, Guest      Blog      Forums      Calculator
     Log in  

 Mary Etta Boitano - Running Phenomenon From 1973
Submitted by runnerswife :: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:34 pm
While today's children seem to be threatened by obesity and laziness, we may take a lesson from Mary Etta Boitano. She was born in 1963 to a family of runners. Her first race was the Dipsea trail, a steep run over the coastal range to the Pacific Ocean in Marin county, when she was five. Her parents entered her only as "M. Boitano" because women (especially girls) were not supposed to run distance races back then. She had to wear a cap, because she was supposed to be a little boy. During the race, someone said, "Look how fast that boy is running." She got upset and took off her cap, saying "I am not a little boy!"

In 1973, at the age of 10, she won the race.

She also ran a 3:01 marathon the same year. She later won Bay to Breakers three times.

That said, there is significant medical evidence that distance running is not good for children. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published a warning about about the dangers of children running long distances in a policy statement. "Distance running may induce musculoskeletal, endocrine, hematologic, thermoregulatory, and psychosocial damage." In plain english, the pediatricians are concerned about damage to still-forming bones and cartilage. It is also more difficult for children to regulate their temperature while running in the extremes of weather. And lastly, the doctors are concerned that a child runs long distances not so much because they want to as because of pressure from their parents.

None of this appears to be a problem for Mary Etta however. She continued on to run for San Francsico State, and still runs 70 miles a week today. Her advice to parents: "Support your children. If they want to run, let them. The health benefits are overwhelming. My parents are now in their 80s, still walking and running. They introduced me to the sport, and I love them for that."

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Mary Etta Boitano - Running Phenomenon From 1973 Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:56 pm 

More info about Boitano can be found at

View posts:     

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Copyright © 2014 Runworks. All rights reserved.   Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group

Questions or Comments  Privacy Policy