Women Running Wild

The Texans may be in Baltimore Sunday but the eyes of the sports world will still be on Houston this weekend.  Saturday, the top runners in the country will compete in the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials.  Sunday, hundreds more will run in the annual Houston Marathon.  Bill Stamps was at the George R. Brown Convention Center and tells us women runners appear to outnumber the men.

(Sound of Joan Benoit winning the first ever Olympic women’s marathon)

That was nearly 30 years ago at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.  American Joan Benoit took home the gold in the first women’s marathon.  Now, almost three decades later, women marathon runners are everywhere.

“I need some new running gear, and there’s just great prices and it’s all the stuff that runners like to wear.  They have great deals today.

That’s runner Jody Boatright who was at the Houston Marathon Expo at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Every running related gadget or type of clothing you can imagine is on display there this weekend, and everywhere you look there are women.

“I’m running the marathon on Sunday.”

Leslie Sitton has run several marathons but has had to take a break with two babies. I asked her what she was looking for.

“Oh, nothing in particular.  It’s just fun to look at all the vendors, get samples and stuff.”

“Speed, precision, strength: all sorts of interactions are out here.”

Of course, it’s not just women hanging around the convention center. Kyle Shackelton and this twin brother were outside stretching.  Both are competing in Saturday’s Olympic Trials.

“I’m not in perfect shape. My training partner is my brother and my old teammate, they’re in really good shape and I’m just out here supporting them.  I’ll run as much of it as I can and hopefully get a good enough experience, so that  in 2016 I know what it’s like and can actually compete to make the team, but right now I’m not in good enough shape.”

So of course I had to ask him the obvious question.

Stamps: “Who’s better you or your brother?”
Shackelton: “I am of course.  I mean, in college I was always a little bit ahead of him but in the marathon he’s actually beat me every time.”

There are a number of interactive booths across the street at Discovery Green Park.

“We got our United States Olympic Committee representatives all around to help you guys out.”

U.S Olympic organizers especially want to get the kids involved, hoping one of them might be the next Joan Benoit.