SPARTA, NJ - A Sparta teacher will be running in the Boston Marathon this year. Sarah Pisano will be running with a group called #261 Fearless comprised of approximately 100 women from around the world, including a woman named Katherine Switzer. The group takes its name from Switzer's ground breaking run in 1967.
Fifty years ago college student Switzer was the first woman to register and finish the iconic race. She registered under the name K. Switzer, hoping to disprove the conventional wisdom of the time that women were considered incapable of running road races, according to Pisano.
Switzer's deception made the race director so angry, Pisano said, that he "physically tried to rip off her bib #261."
This April they will honor the 50 anniversary of the event that "revolutionized women's athletics," Pisano said. "As a runner and the Sparta High School girls cross country coach I have had the privilege of witnessing many women be impacted by Katherine's fearless actions."
As a member of Katherine's charity team, Pisano is committed to raising $7,261. The amount in part has been determined by the race committee and in part as a nod to the bib number they are celebrating. She is hoping the community will support her as well.
Pisano's first running race was the Sparta Main Street 5K just before she graduated from high school. She completed her first marathon in North Carolina in 2010 and qualified for the Boston race in September. The Boston Marathon will be her eight full marathon.
"Boston has been a goal of mine since I started running," Pisano said. Her family and friends support her efforts and will travel with her to cheer as she crosses the Boylston Street finish line.
The money raised by #261 Fearless will go to "empower and support women globally to be fearless in pursuit of their dreams," Pisano said. People can donate online or by sending a check to her attention at Sparta High School. Please make check payable to “261 Fearless, INC.” On the memo line of the check, please indicate that the donation is for “Team Boston & Sarah Pisano.” Donations can be sent to Sparta High School Attention- Sarah Pisano OR directly to 261 Fearless, INC. P.O. Box 1640, Port Washington, NY 11050-1640 Attn: Team 261 Fearless.