African American woman running

Liz Rock is a marathoner and community leader, focusing on women and diversity: “We [women] are so powerful and I wish we knew that more,” she says. “We are powerful and we need to lead with that more often than not.”

Rock tells her running story with a focus on training for the 2024 Boston Marathon, and her journey is about so much more than putting in the miles. Rock’s reasons for running Boston this year, her second Boston Marathon, are deeply embedded in her work as a community leader and her personal health and wellness journey.

This will be Rock’s fifth marathon, and her motivations and approach are different this time than for marathons in the past. This year, Rock is running for community, and specifically for the Mile 21 Cheer Zone, which is organized by the TrailblazHers and the Pioneers Run Crew. As on one the co-founders of TrailblazHers, Rock has helped organize this long-standing cheer zone and she’s cheered thousands of other runners on from this spot. This year, she’ll be on the receiving end.

This is particularly meaningful in light of what went down last year, 2023: the police were called and subsequently surround this cheer zone, front and back, because of the way that they were cheering. The Mile 21 Cheer Zone is the largest gathering of race supporters who are Black and people of color along the race course; their cheer zone is on the predominantly white, affluent town of Newton. This unnecessarily aggressive response from the Newton police caused distrust and trauma in the BIPOC running community that continues to reverberate. Rock was there cheering, and she’s returning as a runner to celebrate this cheer zone and take back this narrative and the joy that was threatened last year.

Preparation for this year’s Boston also has personal significance in Rock’s health and wellness journey. She’s hired a running coach and a nutritionist for the first time, to help guide her through marathon training, and beyond.

Rock gets into all of this in her powerful, inspirational story.

Liz Rock is the co-founder of the Boston-based TrailblazHers Run Crew—which is created by and specifically focuses on serving the BIPOC community; she is also the co-founder of the empowering and beloved annual women’s running event the Bra Run. And she is a member of the Boston Running Collaborative (BRA), an organization within the Boston Athletic Association (BAA, the organization puts on the Boston Marathon) that works to diversify the running community. And, Rock is a marketing manager for Puma.

Keep Up with Liz Rock

Instagram: @lizzy_rockz

Mentioned in This Episode

TrailblazHers website: trailblazhersrunco.com

TrailblazHers Instagram: @trailblazhersrunco

Abeo Powder coaching: @holisticwithhotfoot

Runner’s World article “My Run Club Was Profiled for ‘Cheering While Black’—Here’s Why It Only Reaffirms Our Mission,” as told to Emilia Benton by Sidney Baptista: runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a43878096/my-run-club-was-profiled-for-cheering

Boston Running Collaborative (BRC): baa.org/get-involved/boston-running-collaborative

Oiselle, the apparel brand rooted in running; made by women, for women: oiselle.com

Ways to Connect and Engage with Women’s Running Stories

Instagram: @womensrunningstories

Twitter: @WomenRunStories

Website: womensrunningstories.com

Email host Cherie: clouiseturner@gmail.com

Women’s Running Stories is a member of the Evergreen network: https://evergreenpodcasts.com/

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