“Allow Yourself To Believe You Can Do It, And You Will”

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Great Run have teamed up with a group of inspirational women with the goal of tackling gender inequality in mass participation events.

10ironwomen are a team of women from London who have a mission to encourage more women to sign up for a long distance challenge such as a half marathon, an ultra marathon or an open water swim.

The group have revealed they will take on a range of distances at John West Great East Swim on Saturday 20 June, which takes place at Alton Water near Ipswich.

They announced the link-up ahead of International Women's Day, the global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

This year's theme is around creating an equal world, something that 10Ironwomen are actively working towards.

The 10Ironwomen said: “Being female in sport is great as women generally continue to push boundaries – women are getting faster, stronger and fitter than many ever thought was possible.

“For us specifically, it's great to be women in a sport which is predominantly male dominated. It means that we can challenge stereotypes, show other women that this kind of event is for them too, and maybe even encourage them to sign up to an event themselves.

“International Womens Day is a chance to recognise the amazing achievements of other women, especially those who have paved the way for us. We love that every year women come out to support each other and celebrate. It's also a day to remind us about the inequality between men and women.

“Although a day alone is not going to help change or improve the gender gap, it's important to have a day of awareness to remember that there is still inequality. Everyday should be IWD and we should always fight for equality.”

Across Great Run's events in the UK in 2019, 53% were male with 47% of the total participants female, but there were exceptions where women outnumber men such as the Great Manchester Run 10K, Europe's biggest 10KM event. However, it is the longer distances where men outnumber their female counterparts.

10Ironwomen has therefore urged women to start to redress the balance in the longer distances, adding: “Our advice to other women is: If we can do it, YOU can do it. We heard on a podcast recently that women need to be 80% confident that they are going to finish something before they sign up, whereas men only need to be 20% confident.

“We think that says a lot! Most women don't realise how capable they are. Allow yourself to believe you can do it, and you will.”

To sign up for a Great Run event, click here and to find out more about 10Ironwomen, follow them on Instagram @10ironwomen