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Donna Gookin

44th Finisher at First Triathlon, September 25, 1974

I was the first woman to run in any of the distance runs in town and later volunteered and then was hired at city recreation centers where I started fitness groups in which I introduced running to women and men too at the Balboa Park group.  I got them shaped up and able to run across the Coronado Bridge when it opened and 805 when it was opened.   My first marathon was in 1970 and I did 42 more and 5-50 milers. I won Mountain races up Mt Wilson and Mt. Baldy.   I was invited to the first Boston that let a few women officially enter but because of home and kids and job I couldn't go but did do it late in my running career.  I was women's winner in 10 of the marathons I did and have the list of them all.   After getting women in San Diego to be able to run and got a team started for the San Diego Track Club and we were able to get 3rd in a big state championship in San Louis Obispo.  These are just a few tidbits of my running.  About Orienteering  nicknamed cunning running--since we use a map and compass to navigate on foot to locations on a map--  some  marines came and told the track club about Orienteering and we have been doing that for 40 years  ever since   and helped to put on a meet at Tierra Santa this last Saturday.  We will have to miss the dedication because of making prior arrangements to orienteer in Tucson this coming weekend.   I am old and arthritic now but try to keep moving doing the most I can.  I was lucky to marry into a family where the boys were runners and I thought why not girls!!   We had some stand outs too!  I encouraged my group in Balboa Park (men and women) to try something new and challenging and show that we were fit enough to do it.  They were courageous and said they would try the tri!    Most of us hadn't done much biking or swimming.  I even got my 12 year old daughter Karin to do it too.