Jul 29, 2014
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25th Anniversary Running Of The Women’s Distance Festival

Rockland Road Runners host annual benefit race on Saturday for Rockland Family Shelter

25th Anniversary Running Of The Women’s Distance Festival


This Saturday the Rockland Road Runners (RRR) will host the 25th Annual (WDF) at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers.  The theme is “Moving Women Forward for 25 years.” The yearly run, launched in 1988, stands as the sole ‘women’s only’ event of its kind in Rockland County. 

Over the past quarter century, hundreds of women between the ages of 12 and 90 have joined together to participate in event which features a 5K run and walk. For the first time this year, “One Lucky Guy” has been randomly selected from an additional fundraising lottery to run the race with the hundreds of female runners. The “lucky guy” turns out to be RRR Vice President Jonathan Farrell.

Proceeds from the race will be donated to the , a New City-based not-for- profit agency dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. 

“The race participants and dedicated volunteers of the Women’s Distance Festival exhibit not only a strong commitment to the celebration of women’s running but also demonstrate unwavering support for the RFS mission to eradicate violence in the lives of women and children,” said Carolyn Fish, executive director of the Shelter.

Over the years, RRR has raised more than $80,000 for the Shelter, which provides free, confidential, culturally sensitive, programs that include an emergency shelter for battered women and their children, a 24-hour hotline, court services, support groups and community education.

The run/walk begins at 8 a.m. and follows a 3.1-mile course.  A free Children’s Fun Run for boys and girls 11 and under will open the festivities at 7:30 a.m.  The race entry fee is $25. 

Online registration via a secure server can also be found at the race website, www.rocklandroadrunners.org/wdf.

The Shelter will provide special recognition to the following race directors on Saturday:

  • Cheryl Kalter-Schloss  & Ann McGrath (1988-1993)
  • Kathy Culla (1994)
  • Kathy Daly (1995-1997)
  • Nicole Olds (1998-1999
  • Chris Phelan (2000)
  • Sue Hale (2001—2004)
  • Peggy Caffrey-Neil & Larry Wolf (2005-2006)
  • Larry Wolf (2007-2012)

Women’s Distance Festival Background Information:

The national Women’s Distance Festival movement began in the early 1980’s in response to the absence of women’s distance events in the Olympics. At that time, women all over the United States, and the world, were organizing all-women races, primarily 5K’s, to generate interest in equal opportunity for women in long distance racing.

In Rockland County, Cheryl Kalter-Schloss and Ann McGrath organized the first Rockland Road Runner-sponsored Women’s Distance Festival 5K on July 16, 1988. The race was scheduled to coincide with the other 57 Women’s Distance Festivals held around the country in celebration of women’s running.

Kalter-Schloss and McGrath selected the Rockland Family Shelter to receive the proceeds of the race. The Rockland Road Runners support has allowed the Shelter to continue to provide critical funding for programs and services that assist survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as victims of other serious crimes, and to raise awareness throughout the community.





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