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Home » Real Women Run: Running as Feminist Embodiment » Chapter 1: Women Running

Chapter 1: Women Running

Woman, Runner

a woman runner
is a woman who runs is
a woman runner 

AUDIO: Running along the Bahn tracks in Manheim, Germany 2014

The runner begins anew every time she puts on her shoes.
– Menzies-Pike, 2016, p. 84

I run because that is who I am.
– Sandra Faulkner

Real Women Run is a feminist embodied ethnography that defies the mind-body split because of the attention it pays to the material and the discursive; this work takes up emotional, physical, and ideological space. Faulkner uses poetic inquiry as a feminist ethnographer to contend with dominant discourses about women’s running bodies, identities, gendered/sexualized roles, and concomitant evaluations by acknowledging, examining, and altering the complex reality that not all women who run are young, long and lean.  There are fat runners, old runners, and average runners who sometimes walk during races.  Running is a way to build physical and emotional strength to challenge and resist normative running bodies, typical femininity, and staid expectations.  We see how women run toward and run away from expectations, relationships and ways of being.  


Menzies-Pike, C. (2017). The long run: A memoir of loss and life in motion. New York: Crown.

This web-based material is an accompaniment to the book Real Women Run: Running as Feminist Embodiment by Sandra Faulkner.