I just left this in OrbitalMechanic’s LJ, where she posted some stories from the Boston Marathon that are well worth reading. But my sport and a lot of my stories are about water rather than road, and I think Ernestine Bayer deserves her own entry here.

In the 1930s, Ernestine Bayer was told women couldn’t row (apparently no one in Philadelphia read Gaudy Night. She persisted; in 1938 she was one of the founders of the still-extant Philadelphia Girls Rowing Club. She was on the Olypic Committee in 1976, inducted into the Rowing Hall of Fame in 1984, won her race in the Head of the Charles at 83 and was still competing in it in 2001, in her 90s, set a world record at 91 in the Crash-Bs. The link above isn’t exactly a comprehensive biography, but the pictures say it all. But here are a couple of stories.

I’m going to erg tomorrow, going to row in a coaching session on Thursday. The other two women being coached are about 29 and 52; the coach is a woman with a baby and a toddler. I’ve rowed and raced now on four continents: all over the US, in the Netherlands, in Taiwan, in Australia (on the Sydney Olympics course!) I’m pretty sure Ernie Bayer had a direct effect on my life.