More than 150 women met on the concrete Sunday for a 3.2-mile roundabout run from Mariachi Plaza to City Hall in honor of Women’s History Month.
The event, called Amigas Who Run, was organized by female members of the Boyle Heights Bridge Runners, a community running group who runs weekly across the bridges of Boyle Heights.
While the group holds regular runs Wednesdays, and invites anyone to attend, Amigas Who Run was strictly open to women and women identified people of all ages and running levels.
Boyle Heights Beat spoke with Myra Vasquez, one of the members of the Boyle Heights Bridge Runners who proposed the all-women run, and the artist behind the event’s t-shirt design.
BHB: How did it feel to run alongside so many women?
MV: It was really special to see all the ladies wearing a garment that I designed and printed with my own hands. It was like a full circle of empowering energy.
I have never ran an all-women’s run. It was so great to see that many women attending and ready to go so early in the morning. There were women of all shapes, color, ages, … it was a true example that love and friendship comes in all forms. The energy of the women was felt through every pounce, step, on the concrete. To see all the smiles through sweat; hearing the women cheer on their fellow compañeras, their amigas, was heartfelt. To see the support of my fellow Bridge Runners was so moving to me. We are amazing together. This would have not been possible with out the support of my fellow team members and all the ladies who attended.
BHB: You did this in honor of Women’s History month, why is it important to promote these celebrations?
MV: This first-ever run is designed to bring women of all levels together in an action of solidarity with women athletes and activists worldwide. We believe that public space should be open and safe for women identified people, and that health is every woman’s right.
I wanted the women to have a sense of sisterhood. I wanted the women to feel uplifted. A feeling of, ‘I can do this!’ As women, we need to lift each other up, be supportive, and encourage each other to keep going, ‘you got this, you can do it!’ To break the paradigm that society has casted upon women, of what we can and cannot do–of who can run and who cannot run.
BHB: Will there be any more Amigas Who Run events?
MV: We would love to keep doing these types of runs. It takes planning and by the amount of women who came out, there is a need for them. We will continue with our Wednesday runs, meet to keep ideas flowing, and keep planning to serve our community.
The Boyle Heights Bridge Runners run every Wednesday starting at 7:45pm at Espacio 1839 at 1839 E 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90033. The run is free and open to all levels, including a beginners’ group with walking and running intervals. For more information call (323) 265-3730 or visit their Facebook page.
This interview was edited for clarity.