Hilton High School business teacher Theresa Jason recently participated in a 2-mile run sponsored by Rochester Running Co. on behalf of Lifespan of Greater Rochester with her granddaughter Cassidy Rose Seifert-Smith, a fourth-grader at Quest Elementary School.
The two met Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Nearly pulled from that race in 1967 because she was a woman, Switzer finished the marathon in just over four hours. She blazed a trail for other female athletes looking to break into this sporting arena previously open only to men.
The Boston Marathon opened to women in 1972. Switzer was in Rochester to speak at Lifespan’s Celebration of Aging Conference.
“It was a great experience to meet Ms. Switzer and participate with my granddaughter,” Jason said. “The exercise was spectacular, and the memory and future impact that this opportunity and meeting had on Cassidy Rose will be with her for years to come.”
Seifert-Smith became interested in running after joining Girls on the Run at Quest. This nonprofit organization sponsors a 10-week afterschool program for girls in grades 3-5 and 6-8. Physical activity is woven into the program to inspire an appreciation of fitness and build habits that lead to a lifetime of health. At the end of each three-month session, the girls participate in a celebratory, noncompetitive Girls on the Run 5K.