The newest race in Rochester will have participants recreating a local historical event.
One hundred years ago, suffragist Susan B. Anthony learned that her two-year effort to admit women to the University of Rochester was in jeopardy. The day before the trustee-imposed deadline of raising $50,000 to fund co-education, the campaign was $8,000 short.
Determined not to lose the cause, Anthony-then 80 years old and just back from a long suffrage campaign in the West-hastened to raise additional monies from the community. Racing to the trustees meeting on Sept. 8, 1900, she presented the list of funds and contributors and even pledged $2,000 of her own life insurance to make up the final gap. That fall, 32 women enrolled in the University; now, more than 2,180 women are undergraduate students at the University.
Anthony's "deadline dash" to make sure women got admitted to the University will be commemorated in a race jointly sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Center for Women's Leadership at the University of Rochester and The Susan B. Anthony House. The Susan B. Anthony Legacy Race on Sunday, Sept. 24, is a 5K Run/Walk that will celebrate 100 years of women's education at the University of Rochester.
"Rochester has benefited in so many ways from being the home of Susan B. Anthony," said Lorie Lachiusa Barnum, executive director of The Susan B. Anthony House. "This story illustrates how she concentrated her drive and determination locally on behalf of equal rights for all."
"A run is a perfect way to capture the urgency that Susan B. Anthony must have felt as she raced through the city to make sure women would win their campaign for equal education," said Nora Bredes, director of the Anthony Center. "Whether they walk or run the course, participants will catch the spirit of this anniversary."
The 5K event will begin at The Susan B. Anthony House at 17 Madison St., proceeding east on West Main Street to Ford Street, onto Ford Street and east across the Ford Street Bridge to Wilson Boulevard, heading south on Wilson Boulevard toward the Interfaith Chapel on the University of Rochester River Campus.
Susan B. Anthony, portrayed by Barbara Blaisdell, will signal the start of the race by ringing a school bell. Participants will be given a Susan B. Anthony dollar to carry and to give to a University representative as they cross the finish line.
Start time is 10 a.m. Participants can register for the race in advance, taking advantage of an Early Bird entry fee of $15. The fee after Sept. 15 and on the day of the race is $18. The entry fee for students is $10. Registration on the day of the race starts at 8:30 a.m. at Anthony Square on Madison Street.
Water, juice, and bagels will be supplied courtesy of Wegmans and the Bagel Bin.
Prizes will be awarded to the first woman and man to cross the finish line. Awards will also go to the top women and men by age groups: 17 and under, 18 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, and 60 and over. Reflecting Anthony's role as a teacher and mentor to young women, including her own relatives, special prizes are earmarked for the fastest mentor/student, coach/athlete, and aunt/niece.
Among the award presenters will be Rebecca Leclair of WHEC Channel 10. A portion of each entry fee will benefit the Anthony Center for Women's Leadership and The Susan B. Anthony House.
For more information, contact the Anthony Center at (585) 275-8799 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is available and registration can be done online at www.rochester.edu/SBA/race.html.