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Leading Ladies' Marathon
& Half Marathon

(latest update at the top...)

2019 Updates


On the clock or on your list.

It has been fifteen years since this dream became reality, we hope you choose to join us in celebrating the thrill of living life in the fast lane. Focus on you…it is about time.
Measured by your own yardstick….a personal best? Qualify for Boston? Expand your comfort zone? Explore the margins of life? Well, this is the year to do it. Start now to plan for a life-altering adventure, sure-fire ego builder, and quite possibly the beginning of a positive addiction.

Whether you choose the marathon or the half, either is a prodigious accomplishment and the committing to, training for, and completing of one or the other is a definitive star in your fitness resume’. Know that fitness is not limited to the body; mind, soul, and persona are all positively and permanently impacted.

Leading Ladies’ Marathon on August 18th, 2019, will be the 15th running of America’s only all woman marathon. Secure your spot by choosing to register, make travel plans, and post your workout on the refrigerator.

Look forward to meeting you!
Running On…

2018 Updates

What I am...

“This is what I am, this is what I do.” - Scott Jurek, distance runner

As your training tightens and tensions mount…remember who you are and what you do. We are all capable of more than we can ever imagine; savor these last weeks of fine-tuning.
A massive tornado tore through the Dakotas, causing considerable damage to the higher hills, but not impacting our race. You’ll notice some areas of twisted and broken trees, but much of the clean-up will be done and nature patches the rest on her own time line.
Rattle snakes are a reality here, and although we rarely see one, this year they exhibited more visibility! Just stay out of the tall grass and be apprised they do not attack, only defend. If they want a piece of the road, let ‘em have it.

I look forward to meeting all of you and reacquainting with stalwart ‘re-runs’… it’s time for a reunion!

Whatever your personal goal, ours is your safety and pleasure…I am proud to share our beautiful area and wonderful city and eager to facilitate your success.
Running On…

In the Beginning...

Forty years ago today I began running. At the invitation of my son and the scorn of a husband, I sped out the door and down the road to….a staggering halt within a tenth of a mile. Hiding behind a rock for a reasonable length of time and then jogging on home saved face, but not pride…I changed, I ran, I conquered me.

I’m reflecting on the life changing impact of those few feeble steps. The amazing people I’ve met, the jobs I’ve held, the places I’ve been….not to mention incredible health body, soul and mind; running is indeed the panacea.

It occurs to me that marathoners represent the best of what running has meant to me, been for me, done for me. This myriad of diverse talents, tenacity and treasures epitomizes the universe of a runner. You who make and take the time to make Leading Lady work, who train and sacrifice and endure…not only for self but for your sisters, spouse, children…you are the world.

Running is not just a sport; it’s a life style, a career, a message to the world that power and control are within the purview of every individual. “If I can run a mile, I can make decisions. If I can run a marathon, I can commit to life. If I can put down my coffee and put on my shoes, I can do what it takes whatever the situation. Life is my course; I am coach and athlete, I can choose to win.”

Forty years, 50,500 miles, 300 pairs of shoes, a rainbow of spandex, countless trophies, 125 marathon medals…and safety pins enough to put bib numbers on the population of Spearfish. I’ve gone from Popsicle sticks to chips, sweat pants to tights, high tech shoes to barefoot. A rich life, a fun life, a fit life. Thank you son Tim, thank you Asics, thank you God, for quality miles, quality years, quality friends, and three careers related to movement. Not bad, not bad at all.

Year 14 coming up…let’s run!
Elaine Doll-Dunn

Murky March

Just read an interesting article, recommends taking a break from your regular work-out and seek an unfamiliar path. Try trees. Any of nature’s palate of beauty helps, but science says you’ll do better with trees, big ones, if you can find them. Two recent studies suggest that a run--or even a walk--in the woods reduces anxiety and depression, improves memory, and lowers your resting heart rate. A neurological study from Stanford maintains that a trot through the woods reduces “subgenual prefrontal cortex activation.” What we call brooding.

So stay connected with trees if you can, leafless or verdant…cheaper than a shrink. Considering this is the month of desperate search for the first crocus, Robin, or valiant blade of grass…take on The Ides of March and switch gears. These make for better, or at least happier, runners.

Just In:
It’s not just hopeful thinking! Dark chocolate before a workout is proven to enhance performance!
Elaine Doll-Dunn


You did not wake up this morning to be mediocre. Average is for test scores. Since you are reading this, you have run a marathon or half before, or you’re courageously pushing the envelope. Either way, good you. Testing limits, challenging norms, committing to self…nobody said growing was easy.

Hey! But it is fun! Your daily run or work out, your decisions about training, time, strategy…all factor into the joy of creating a new you, maintaining status quo, a filling the bucket list…all valid reasons for hitting the road.

Remember the place or purpose is not the issue, but giving your all is. Mediocre is not who you are. Leading Lady is about shattering the norm; raising the bar…it starts today.
You show ‘em.
Elaine Doll-Dunn

Bold is Beautiful!
(Live like you mean it)

Happy New Year! It ’s resolution time again, when we take an honest look at who and what we are, then decide either to stay the course or up the ante. Are you where you want to be physically? Could your fitness resume’ use a centerpiece? Are you bored with the same old exercise regime? If it’s just to finish a race or to qualify for Boston…have I got a deal for you.

Any event deserves multiple goals. Do you run for fun? Fitness? Mental health? All of the above? Why not choose Leading Lady 2018 to pursue all of these valid challenges. We will suffer the indignities of physical decline, but we don’t have to take it sitting down. I will age, but I will not decay.

Address the significance of the moment, determine to run or walk one of the events, then just focus and do it. Be bold, be brazen, be beautiful…passion is contagious; come run with us.
Elaine Doll-Dunn



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