Over 100 runners raced from the Susan B. Anthony House to the Interfaith Chapel in the eighth annual Susan B. Anthony 5K Legacy Race on Sunday, celebrating the success of the Women’s Rights Movement.

“I think that [we’re making] a very necessary and positive impact – we’re asking people to examine real issues that affect both men and women today,” Director of the Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership and member of the race committee Nora Bredes said.

According to Bredes, the number of runners may have somewhat dwindled this year due to the poor weather. However, she noted that those who did show up were very enthusiastic and excited. The participants ranged from 19 to 76 years old.

“I feel great about running in the race,” sophomore Rachel Handfinger said. “It’s for an awesome purpose – there’s a history behind it.”

This sentiment was echoed by many UR students who participated in the race. “The gloomy, rainy weather on the day of the run did not suppress the excitement of the runners,” Students’ Association Vice President and senior Katherine DelBalso said. “All participants knew the outstanding cause for which they were running.”

Many UR clubs and sports teams volunteered to support the event. Among those were the field hockey team, the Women’s Caucus and members of the SA.

“[This year] we had about 150 people registered,” Bredes said. “I think that our support in the community is very strong.”

The volunteers were proud to be supporting such a cause. “It’s important for students at UR to know about the events going on in the community,” member of the Women’s Caucus and senior Tess Troha-Thompson said. “Regarding the Legacy Race in particular, a lot of people don’t know that Susan B. Anthony was instrumental in allowing women to attend the university. It’s important for students to be aware of what she did for us specifically – something like this race creates the awareness for what she did.”

The Legacy Race began in 1999, which marked the 100th anniversary of when UR first accepted women. The idea behind the race is more than a celebration – it is an act of remembrance.

“The level of awareness from some young women, I feel, is very dismal,” DelBalso said. “However, awareness could be significantly increased through education – once people become aware, then they increase their level of appreciation.”

As Bredes noted, events like this are important for both our community as well as our country. “We are asking people to consider how far we’ve come,” she said.

Troha-Thompson agreed with Bredes. “A lot has improved,” she said. “Women today pursue many, many more professions than they had ever in the past.”

The Legacy Race brought out these feelings of empowerment and appreciation for what Susan B. Anthony and other historical figures did for women today.

“I feel that already women at this point are not on the same wavelength as women back then,” DelBalso said. “In comparison, we now have many more rights and we have played pivotal roles in many important events. We have to learn that the only thing that can stop women from achieving our goals is ourselves.”

Chang can be reached at lchang@campustimes.org.

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