Traditions. They not only remind us who we are, but where we've come from. In the sport world, male traditions and historical moments abound. Whether it's breaking the 4 minute mile, celebrating the old silver hares of the Boston Marathon (pun intended), or the legacy of Steve Prefontaine, men frequently own the narrative as far as athletic tradition. And even today, new traditions are being set, like the #Breaking2 event, with no female counterpart.
Celebrating female firsts, women's leadership and sports, and women led traditions is something we want to see more of in the world. So last year, we started giving out The Linda Prefontaine High Flyer Award. Linda, sister to Steve and a friend of mine who I met when we were both starting our businesses, came to our first event in Eugene, and we had the honor of handing out her necklaces as the awards to four recipients: Beth Sullivan, Lauryn Williams, Taylor Dutch, and Allie Bigelow. Each leading in the sport of running in different ways. And this year - we were honored to receive so many stellar nominations!
And the winners are...
CARRIE TOLLEFSON: 2004 Olympian - Track & Field, 1500m
Carrie is paving the way as one the few female track and field/running commentators. Carrie always adds insight and knowledge, and viewers feel more in tune with the deeper story. Carrie also hosts a signature podcast that really stands apart: she tells athlete stories very effectively, often on a 5-7 mile run with them. Creative and great for the whole sport.
ELYSE KOPECKY: Co-Author of Run Fast, Eat Slow
Elyse authentically shares her skills and insights, and enriches (pun intended!) the female athlete’s life.
Elyse “celebrates indulging in real food, cooking from scratch, and fueling with the right nourishment to thrive.” Elyse’s health-promoting message comes from her individual experience as an athlete and chef. “She discovered that by incorporating more fats into her diet she was stronger, healthier, and happier than ever before.”
ALI SCHULTZ: Volée Leader Extraordinaire! No additional words necessary...
“Ali uses her positive attitude, her wisdom and experience, her ability to instantly connect with complete strangers, and her willingness to listen to share, support and empower those around her in all situations. Whether it be her personal life, her professional life or within her athletic endeavors, Ali never presents false pretenses or fake garbage; she is always her most authentic and I learn from her every time we are together.”
“Ali knows that life is fun and not to take this existence too seriously, but she also knows when to put on her GDV and get the work done.”
“Ali really embodies all aspects of the Oiselle manifesto: from building the sisterhood, to owning the journey, to being a superfan. So lucky to call her a teammate and friend!"
“Even though we had never met, Ali and I started chatting in the finisher's area after a race. I was feeling pretty low, make that reallllllllly low, and she looked at me and said with such confidence, ‘This race is not a reflection of who you are or what you can do. It was a bad day, that's all it is. This isn't you, and you will race again, and run stronger.’ I have held onto those words for the last two years...Although that was the worst race I ever ran, I walked away with a conversation and friendship that I now wouldn't trade for a PR.”
ZOEY DOWLING: Australian Coach + Run Community Builder.
"Zoey has created an online community of women who encourage and support each other to move in whatever way makes them happy. Be it running, swimming, cycling, yoga, lifting weights or any of a million other ways, the Operation Move Community welcomes women of all ages, from all over the world, to come together in support of each other. It's a place where we keep ourselves (and each other) accountable on days when we don't really feel like training, go for advice, a boost in our self-belief, and most importantly, to make sure that everyone feels included no matter who they are, their body shape, or what they're doing. Zoey built this community from the ground up, always sticking to her philosophy of empowering women to be whatever they want to be. Zoey gives her coaching and training advice freely to anyone who asks, all the while running the free Operation Move blog and weekly podcast. She is the rock that many of us go to for a coach's reassurance when we're feeling shaky or unsure of ourselves. In short, Zoey embodies all of the values that Oiselle holds dear, often without ceremony. She's given so much to so many women.”
To our winners, thank you for all that you do!
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