Why haven’t we asked for more?

When you sign up for a race, what do you expect?

I want you to mentally list out all of the things you expect when registering for a race. 

If I had to guess, your list probably contains very tangible items and/or things and experiences that can easily be executed and delivered upon by a race organization. 

What if I told you our team’s biggest challenge this year hasn’t been the pandemic — it has been coming up against the idea that as women and as runners, we’ve been conditioned to think, ‘this is what a race looks like.’ 

And here’s the kicker: We’ve never really asked for more.  

Ironic then, that while we may not be asking for more, Made To Move pushes forward the idea and invitation that we deserve more.

Myself, my team, our partners — we believe there is a new moment stirring and rising up for women, and it’s one that we are determined to meet. 

I’m inviting you on a journey of which I don’t even know where it’ll go. I’m inviting you to build something new of which there’s no directions or roadmap. I’m inviting you to think about all of the women who’ve been sitting on the sidelines because for so long, they haven't been included or welcomed to step into a space so many of us have taken for granted. 

We’re building a new table and we’re redefining what women should expect when they register for a race. 

We’re asking you to want more than just a bib, medal and tee shirt. 

We’re asking you to pay more in your registration to support game-changing women-led organizations.

We’re asking you to make this bigger than just your individual journey.

We’re asking you to join virtual teams and connect through your training wins and struggles.

We’re asking you to expect and embrace the opportunity to share your story.

We’re asking you to support other women in the training journey with you.

We’re asking you to attend speaker events and programming to deepen your learning.

We’re asking you to care about women’s issues, advocacy and opportunities. 

We’re asking you to pay a premium price that reflects the value of the experience we’re offering.

We’re asking you to embrace and use the financial support from our Made To Lift fund as to not prevent you from this experience.

We’re asking you to expect more from a race registration, because we believe you deserve it.

And what happens when we ALL raise our expectations?

We raise the standard of what a women’s running event should look like. 

If we decide that races should look different, the game changes.
If we decide to raise the standard, it’s a win for women everywhere. 
If we show the power and potential of what’s actually possible, others become accountable and start raising their standard too. 

If we are willing to invest in a new rubric where the race becomes the vehicle by which change, conversation, elevating issues and collective action can be mobilized, then we are taking the privilege of running and doing good with it.  

I just think we can do more. 

I also know this is the harder path. 

And I’m just going to be stubborn about it. 

We have stories to tell, ladies, and I want to create a race where your story is the centerpiece. I’m never going to stop believing that at the core of why a woman runs is her story, and I am more determined than ever to create an event where she is celebrated.

– Mel Charbonneau

This message originally appeared in Mel’s Tuesday Thoughts email.

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