In a time when women weren't allowed to run distance races, Julia Chase toed the start line.
The newest video in DICK'S Sporting Goods' web series, true stories about runners and what they run for, tells the journey of Julia Chase, a pioneer in running.
Feeling a societal "pressure ... to turn into a woman," Chase opted instead to challenge the social norms with a "deliberate act of civil disobedience." At the age of just 19 -- a year after originally being denied entry -- Chase became the first-ever woman to run in the Manchester Road Race, a 4.7-mile run held annually since 1927 on Thanksgiving Day in Manchester, Connecticut.
And it worked.
"They said, 'You have to promise not to embarrass us again, and in return, we will start cross country runs for women.'"
"Running formed who I am and gave me the confidence to just go ahead and do what ti was I wanted to do."
From there, Chase went on to become a doctor, and was the oldest person to obtain a degree in medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University.
"I run for the sheer joy of it."