• •.:• '■:■"■ - '••' '••
IE riml PAT F,ELD
senecafcis f torch relov
By Karey Bresenhan and Beverly Hebert
In 1848, a farm woman driving her
horse-drawn wagon to the Seneca Falls
convention on women's rights wrote of
her pride in "being part of a great procession of women moving forward."
By this morning, more than 2,000
women will know first-hand just what that
farm woman meant.
They are runners in the IWY Torch
Relay, the women who carried the torch
2,610 miles through 14 states from Seneca
Falls, N.Y., to Houston as an active testimonial to American women on the move.
The Torch Relay begins its final leg
of the 2,610 miles at 11:30 a.m. today at
Overlook Park on Allen Parkway, when all
delegates and the public are invited to join
the runners in walking the last mile from
the park to Jones Plaza.
At noon in Jones Plaza, the three
Houston women who are the official torch-
bearers for the last mile will present the
torch and accompanying declaration to
Billie Jean King, representing women
Expected to attend the presentation
are Bella Abzug, Maya Angelou, Janey
Briscoe, Liz Carpenter, Judy Carter, Sey
Chassler, Sissy Farenthold, Lenore Her-
shey, Judge Sarah T. Hughes and Gloria
The Torch Relay was originally
planned to add sports to the conference
in a meaningful way, according to Coordinator Pat Kery, and it grew to reflect
the broad-based support of American
women for the conference. The relay was
organized by the National Commission on
International Women's Year and the
National Association of Girls and Women
in Sports. It was sponsored by women-
Sports magazine, the Road Runner Club
of America and the President's Council on
Physical Fitness and Sports.
From its beginnings as a good idea
with no money to carry it out, the relay
grew to be one of the most symbolic events
of the conference.
"Since the Commission didn't have
the money for the project, we voted to
support it with enthusiasm," said Sey
Chassler, IWY commissioner and editor of
"Liz Carpenter suggested we contact
the President's Council on Physical Fitness,
and they told us about the Road Runners.
Then things started to move. The bottleneck broke when the National Association
of Girls and Women in Sports helped us
organize and provided a network of
The relay began Sept. 28 in Seneca
Falls with a candlelight kick-off led by
Sissy Farenthold, Judy Carter and New
York Lt. Gov. Mary Ann Krupsak.
Kathy Switzer, the first woman to
run the Boston Marathon, began the relay
the next morning after receiving the torch
from Millicent Brady Moore, a descendant
of Susan Quinn Clark, a participant in the
1848 convention. Donna deVerona, Olympic gold medal winner, and Carole Oglesby,
president of the National Association of
Girls and Women in Sports, also ran the
first few miles of the relay.
Runners represented all parts of life
in America. They included local and national celebrities, mayors, governors, athletes, homemakers, students, grandparents,
mothers, nurses, secretaries, teachers, farm
women, rural women, city women, IWY
commissioners and some men.
Along the way, runners got lost, the
torch went out, a male track team quit,
and women of all ages experienced the
thrill of making history. Many runners are
former women athletes, now in other jobs,
who no longer run regularly.
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PAGE 6 NOVEMBER 18, 1977 DAILY BREAKTHROUGH