Avon International Marathon
LocationVarious
Event typeRoad
DistanceMarathon
Established1978
Course records2:26:26, Julie Brown (1983)

The Avon International Marathon was an annual women's marathon event that was held at various locations from 1978 to 1984. Sponsored and organised by Avon Products, a beauty and household goods company, it was the longest distance race within the Avon International Women's Running Circuit, which was created with the aim of promoting elite and grassroots road running for women.[1] The circuit was headed by former runner Kathrine Switzer, whose efforts had led to the formal acceptance of women at the Boston Marathon.[2]

The International Olympic Committee required the participation of a minimum of 25 countries in international competition in order to accept new events to the Olympic schedule, thus Avon focused on attracting runners from many nations.[3] The series was successful in its aim of establishing the marathon as a women's discipline, led by the International Runners' Committee,[4] with the inaugural women's marathons at the 1982 European Championships and 1983 World Championship preceding the first women's Olympic marathon in 1984.[5] The 1983 Avon International Marathon took place in Los Angeles, where the Olympic marathon race was hosted the following year.[6]

Although the Avon marathon was exclusively hosted in North America and Western Europe, its international focus was a boost to elite women's running outside of these regions – the Tokyo International Women's Marathon was established as the first women's race to receive sanction by the International Amateur Athletic Federation in 1979.[7]

The competition was one of several initiatives for women's sport by Avon during the period, which also included the Avon Futures Tennis Championships.[3]

Winners

Edition Year Date Participation Location Winner Time (h:m:s)
1st 1978 19 March 136, 9 nations[8] Atlanta, United States  Marty Cooksey (USA) 2:46:26
2nd 1979 22 September 250+, 25 nations[9] Waldniel, West Germany  Joyce Smith (GBR) 2:36:27
3rd 1980 3 August 155[10] London, United Kingdom  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:35:11
4th 1981 23 August 340[11] Ottawa, Canada  Nancy Conz (USA) 2:36:46
5th 1982 6 June 477[12] San Francisco, United States  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:36:13
6th 1983 6 June 936[13] Los Angeles, California  Julie Brown (USA) 2:26:26
7th 1984 23 September [14] Paris, France  Lorraine Moller (NZL) 2:32:44

References

  1. ^ Hamilton, Michelle (2014-03-18). Kathrine Switzer Launches Race Series. Runner's World. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  2. ^ Cunningham, John (1980-08-01). Avon calling as 200 runners join women-only marathon . The Guardian. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  3. ^ a b Avon, Women & the Olympics: Driving a Marathon Revolution. CSR Wire (2012-07-31). Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  4. ^ The first London Marathon. Run Young 50. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  5. ^ Cooper, Pamela (1998). The American Marathon. Syracuse University Press. ISBN 9780815605737.
  6. ^ Levin, Richard (2 June 1983). "The marathon women". The San Francisco Examiner. p. F5 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ Lovett, Charlie (1997). "The Fight to Establish the Women's Race". Excerpted from Olympic Marathon: A Centennial History of the Games' Most Storied Race. Web Marketing Associates (WMA). Retrieved 2008-11-17.
  8. ^ 1978 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  9. ^ 1979 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  10. ^ 1980 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  11. ^ 1981 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  12. ^ 1982 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  13. ^ 1983 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
  14. ^ 1984 Avon International Marathon. Association of Road Racing Statisticians. Retrieved 2020-07-19.
Editions