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Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

by On Nov 15, 2014
Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

According to Running USA, women account for 8.6 finishers of races throughout the United States. Similar trends are apparent throughout the world, with women playing a growing role in the running world. Male-only running events are nearly nonexistent, with men historically dominating the sport. By contrast, a recent explosion of interest in running among women has triggered growth in women’s-only events. For an empowering, enjoyable race, check out some of the events near you.

Why Women Run

Country: New Zealand
Next Date: 10 May, 2015
Reason for the run: For pleasure, and to encourage women runners.
About the event: The 'WhyWomenRun' is an annual women-only running event with both a 10k and a 5k race through Auckland, New Zealand. If you are a newbie to the running world, you can sign up for the event's 5k or 10k "Walk" race instead. These competitions are great for encouraging physical fitness for newcomers and those re-entering the running world after injury or time off.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Kim Adamson

Divas Half Marathon & 5K Series

Country: United States
Next Date: 7 December, 2014
Reason for the run: Fund raising for The Young Foundation of Florida charitable organisation
About the event: The Divas Half Marathon and 5K Series of runs take place throughout the United States, with events from Texas to New York, California to Georgia. With around 10 races per year, it is easy for you to find an upcoming event to fit your training schedule and conditioning level. The races are intended to benefit The Young Foundation of Florida, a non-profit organisation that provides financial support to young students who demonstrate exceptional academic ability or work ethic.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Run Like A Diva

Zooma Women's Race Series

Country: United States
Next Date: 17 January, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging women runners and building community
About the event: The Zooma Women’s Race Series takes place around the United States. Each race weekend consists of a series of running events, as well as many locally inspired group activities. Before and after the race, participants can take part in "mocktail" parties or yoga classes. A "boutique race", the event is a weekend getaway combined with a running race. Each race includes a half-marathon, 10K and 5K race.

Nilgiris Ultra

Country: India
Next Date: 13 December, 2014
Reason for the run: Supporting women runners
About the event: The Nigiris Ultra is an all-women trail race through the Nilgiri hills started in 2012. The race has since expanded, adding in separate men's events. However, the focus of the event remains to support female runners from the region. In addition, the event is meant to champion women who face adverse conditions in training and in daily life.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Nilgiris Ultra

Osaka International Women's Marathon

Country: Japan
Next Date: 25 January, 2014
Reason for the run: To encourage female runners
About the event: The Osaka International Women's Marathon starts and finishes at the Nagai Stadium, winding through many of the scenic areas of Osaka, including a pass by the Osaka Castle. Year 2014 marks the 33rd year of the marathon, making it one of the longest continuing women's races anywhere in the world. The course itself is predominantly flat, with very few changes in elevation.

Toronto Women's Run Series

Country: Canada
Next Date: 25 May, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging women's health / supporting Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario
About the event: The Toronto Women's Run Series takes place in Toronto's sprawling city parks, with events from late spring through fall. Whatever your running experience, you can take place in a half marathon, a 10k, an 8k or a 5k. Each year, over 4000 women participate, raising upwards of $50,000 for the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Zoomphoto Inc Event Photography

Great Eastern Women's Run

Country: Singapore
Next Date: TBC, 2015
Reason for the run: To inspire female runners of all abilities.
About the event: Billed as "Asia's Largest Women-Only Race", the Great Eastern Women's Run is designed to accommodate women of all abilities, regardless of your racing background. Events include a 5K, 10K and 21.1K race. The race courses meander through Singapore, from TheFloat@Marina Bay through Merlion Park, the Esplanade, the Singapore Flyer, the F1 Pit Building, and back to Marina Bay. A range of "fringe activities" includes short training runs, various fitness classes and creative cooking classes.

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Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Malaysia Women Marathon

Country: Malaysia
Next Date: 8 March, 2015
Reason for the run: To encourage female runners to Stand Up and Shine.
About the event: Dubbed as the 1st women marathon from South Asia to Australasia, the Malaysia Women Marathon is in its 3rd edition and this edition is a pure ladies' run. The race venue is in the heart of Shah Alam, the city of Selangaor that is a prosperous state of Malaysia with diverse culture and history. The route will traverses several beautiful Mosques and the magnificent palace of Sultan - The Istana Kayangan. You can also visit the MWM's expo, which offers great selection of women's apparel or join the exclusive MWM club.

Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon

Country: United States
Next Date: TBC, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging women runners at the marathon and half-marathon level
About the event: The Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon is the largest event in the world to focus on female runners. (Although the event is targeted at women, men are not barred from racing.) The top runners collect Tiffany necklaces instead of the typical race trophies. Altogether, 30,000 women finish the race each year. Originally, the race was held each year in San Francisco. Since 2013, the event's popularity has compelled organisers to create a second event, taking place in Washington, D.C. each year.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Run Nike Women Series

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Country: United States
Next Date: 22 February, 2015
Reason for the run: Encourage women runners with whimsically themed race;
About the event: Held at Disney's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, the Disney Princess Half Marathon is exactly what you might expect: serious runners wearing not-so-serious garb. If you'd like to race to the cheering of costumed Disney princesses, then don your tiara along with your running shoes. The weekend-long celebration also includes Disney-themed events and parties, many of them designed to let you unleash your inner princess. Take part in a 5K, 10K or half marathon. You can take along bring along the kids, too, and sign them up for various kids-only races.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Run Disney

Great Women's 10K Glasgow

Country: Scotland
Next Date: 17 May, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging women runners in Scotland
About the event: Held in downtown Glasgow, the Great Women's 10K is the largest race of its kind in the UK. Around 10,000 women of all ages and abilities take part in the race, either walking or running their way through the course. True to local culture, the racers are cheered on by groups of traditional Scottish drummers and pipers. The course focuses on south Glasgow, passing through Maxwell Park and Pollok Park before ending at Bellahouston Park.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Great Women's 10k

Run for WOMEN

Country: Canada
Next Date: 25 April, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging women runners.
About the event: The "Run for Women" is a series of races taking place in 10 Canadian cities, from coast to coast. Events are held annually in Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Quebec City, Montreal, Regina and elsewhere. You can sign up for either the 5K or the 10K event. Girls under 10 can get involved, too, in the 1K race.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Run for Women

Breast Cancer Care WomenOnly Run

Country: England
Next Date: TBC October, 2015
Reason for the run: To benefit Breast Cancer Care, a non-profit dedicated to helping breast cancer patients and survivors
About the event: The Breast Cancer Care WomenOnly Run includes a 5K, 10K and 15K race, all on closed roads in Surrey’s Richmond Park. As a result, the course is primarily in natural settings. For new moms, you even have the option of "running with your buggy", taking your baby along for the race.

Dirty Girl

Country: United States
Next Date: 25 April, 2015
Reason for the run: Offering "mud run" races for female enthusiasts
About the event: The Dirty Girl race series has grown to take place in locations around the United States, with events in major cities including Atlanta, Milwaukee, Baltimore/DC, Denver and elsewhere. The race is unique, in that it combines a relatively short distance with an extremely challenging track. The extremely muddy course ensures that each racer gets unusually “down and dirty” by the end of the day.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Gameface Media

La Genevoise

Country: Switzerland
Next Date: 2-3 May, 2015
Reason for the run: To encourage women runners in a women's-only setting
About the event: As one event within the larger Geneva Marathon, La Genevoise is a 5K exclusively for female runners. For couples, the event is a great destination, making it possible for both him and her to run, while still getting the chance for a females-only race.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Geneva Marathon

Wake Your Body Women's Run

Country: Hungary
Next Date: 17 May, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging female runners in Eastern Europe
About the event: The Wake Your Body Women’s Run is one component of the annual Budapest Marathon. Unlike La Genevoise in the Geneva Marathon, this women's-only event includes the option of a 5K, 10K, 10+5K, 10K "in pairs" or 2.1K race.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Budapest Marathon

Hans Christian Andersen ½ Marathon for Women

Country: Denmark
Next Date: 28 September, 2015
Reason for the run: To encourage female runners in a women-only environment
About the event: The H. C. Andersen ½ Marathon takes place each year as part of the H.C. Andersen Marathon Weekend. Organisers call it "the only event of its kind in Europe", with other women's-only events typically ranging between 5 and 10K.

Thelma and Louise Half Marathon

Country: United States
Next Date: 6 June, 2015
Reason for the run: Encouraging women's running
About the event: The Thelma and Louise Half Marathon takes place each year in Moab, Utah, against a backdrop of gorgeous desert landscapes. Participants typically camp at nearby campgrounds.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Moab Half Marathon

Yokohama Women's Marathon

Country: Japan
Next Date: 16 November, 2014
Reason for the run: Encouraging female marathon runners
About the event: The Yokohama Women's Marathon is unique, as one of the few women-only full marathons in Asia. The course begins and finishes at Yamashita Park, passing through Shin-sugita, Honmoku and the Minatomirai district of Yokohama before winding back to the park. Along the way, runners pass through many of the city's waterfront areas and main thoroughfares. The event is open to women 19 years of age and older.

Swift Women: Women-Only Running Events Around The World

Photo Credit: Japan Running News

Women's race events are widely lauded for supporting women new to the sport. In addition, women's-only events make it possible for female first-place finishers, a satisfying goal for many more competitive runners. For racers of all abilities, only one question remains: where will you try out your first women's-only run?

Aidan is the Editor-in-chief of RunSociety. His focus is to oversee RunSociety’s Creativity Channel, spanning a wide range of inspirational and enriching topics daily to the running community. Get in touch with him if you something to say, or want to weigh in on an interesting topic at hello@runsociety.com.

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