28 August 2014

Louisa May Alcott & Uta Pippig Team Up for the Annual Orchard House Walk/Run!

At first glance, these two women may not appear to have much in common.  Louisa May Alcott (left) is best known for writing children's stories in the nineteenth century, while Uta Pippig (right) is an international marathon winner and founder of Take the Magic Step (c), a foundation for advocating healthy and active lifestyles.
Don't be mistaken! Though separated by centuries, these strong, independent women are much more alike than they seem.

Did you know, for example, that Louisa was an avid runner?  She once wrote,
"Active exercise was my delight, from the time when, as a child of six, I drove my hoop around the Common without stopping, to the days when I did my twenty miles in five hours and went to a party in the evening."

While growing up in Concord, Louisa described many instances of  brisk morning runs in her journal, where she wrote,
"I always thought I must have been a deer or a horse in some former state, because it was such a joy to run."

In the spirit of advocating this lesser known aspect of Louisa's life and work, Orchard House Executive Director Jan Turnquist began the 10k/5k Run and 5k Walk for Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House in 2006.  Over the past eight years, this fundraiser has proven to be one of the most anticipated events on the Orchard House calendar, and with 19th century games and living history actors, there are festivities for all ages.

Executive Director Jan Turnquist as Louisa May Alcott, participating in the race in her hoop skirt!

Louisa May Alcott took five hours to walk to Boston, and Uta Pippig is also familiar with the twenty miles it takes to get into the city-- 26.2 miles, in fact--and she became the first woman to win the Boston Marathon three consecutive times, from 1994 to 1996.

Pippig has served as Honorary Chair of the Walk/Run since the beginning, and Orchard House is so pleased and honored to announce that she will be in attendance this year.  After all, a love of running is not the only thing these two women have in common; with a spirit reminiscent of Louisa's interest in reforms and advocacy, Uta Pippig is an inspirational woman striving to help people make healthier habits and lead healthier lives.

Uta Pippig congratulates the male champion of the 2011 Walk/Run
The 9th Annual Walk/Run will take place on September 14th at 12 noon at the Alcott School in Concord, Massachusetts. 

Bringing together the force of these two women will undoubtedly make this year's Walk/Run an unforgettable event!  Register online now at our active.com site or visit the Orchard House website for more information.

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