Local runner heads to Boston Marathon

Courtesy photo Nashua resident Taylor Summit is raising funds for 261 Fearless, a global nonprofit running organization dedicated to empowering women. Summit will run with the 261 Fearless Boston team during the Boston Marathon, April 15.

NASHUA – Taylor Summit, a city resident and a physical therapist at Southern New Hampshire Health, is making strides toward this year’s Boston Marathon while raising funds for 261 Fearless, a global nonprofit running organization dedicated to empowering women.

The 261 Fearless organization was founded in 2015 by Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Switzer first ran in 1967 when the marathon was considered a male-only event. Switzer used her initials to get an official bib, with the number 261. During her run, a race official, Jock Semple, tried to stop her and take her bib, but was shoved by Switzer’s boyfriend, who was running with her.

Ultimately, Switzer finished that race and continued running marathons. However, the Boston Marathon did not allow women to enter the race until 1972.

The 261 Fearless organization adheres to values such as providing healthy non-competitive running opportunities for women “to become fearless and build self-esteem,” It also endeavors to create a safe and inclusive social community for women.

There are more than 50 clubs on five continents. Summit and nearly three dozen runners will compete in Boston this year as part of 261 Fearless Team Boston.

Summit’s time with the 261 Fearless Team Boston has been short, but sweet. She applied for and joined the team last year. Summit also said she grew up admiring Switzer.

Summit applied to be apart of the 261 Fearless Team Boston because she believed she could relate. “Everything the organization stands for is in tune with my own thoughts and feelings,” Summit said. Summit said she also enjoyed the sense of community and the fact that the club gives women a safe space.

In exchange for a spot on the team, Summit must raise $8,000. She has been doing so through fundraisers in breweries, Super Bowl squares and March Madness tournaments. Funds will go toward creating global 261 Clubs, training programs, events and other areas of the organization to continue efforts of building a safe community in which women can run without fear.

Summit’s online fundraising page can be found at: www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/261-fearless-boston-2019/taylorsummit.