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ULTRAWOMEN

Inside the new-found female dominance in ultramarathoning

NINe MAGAZINE

Spring/ Summer 2019

CLIMBING TO THE TOP How Margo Hayes is redefining rock climbing for women

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

SPRING 2019

visit us at ninemagazine.com for more information

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Letter from the editor

21 ULTRAWOMEN

Inside the new-found female dominance in ultramarathoning

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Olympic Trials and Training Updates

Injury Prevention and Tips

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CLIMBING TO THE TOP 2

How Margo Hayes is redefining Rock climbing for women


Editor-in-chief: Annie Burke Creative Director: Lisa Rosowsky

Copy Editor: Julie Burke Project Editor: Lauren Plummer

Photographer: Luke Yost Content Specialist: Luke Plummer

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Expert Gear Running Edition

Designer: Annie Burke Copy Chief: Paul Burke

Associate Researcher: Ryan Burke Style Editor Annie Burke

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PRESCRIBED TO EXERCISE

IN IT TO WIN IT

Why the US women’s soccer team is suing for more than just the money

Insight on the new medical movement to prescribe exercise before medications

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LIMBING TO THE TOP

H ow Margo Hayes Is Redefining Rock Climbing For Women

CLIMBING TO THE TOP: HOW MARGO HAYES TO REDEFINING ROCK CLIMBING FOR WOMEN 4

M

argo Hayes is a soft-spoken 20-year-old who loves gardening and beekeeping. She’s also an elite athlete, with the track record (and muscles) to prove it. Hayes is one of the top climbers in the U.S. She’s excelled at the sport since she joined Boulder’s Team ABC climbing squad at age 10, but she started grabbing attention when she became the first female athlete to “send” (successfully climb from the bottom of a route to the top without falling, in climbing-speak) one of the toughest-graded climbing routes in the world.


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In February 2017, Hayes reached the top of La Rambla, in Siurana, Spain. The highest grade in climbing is 5.15, with c being the toughest. There are currently fewer than five routes in the climbing world rated a 5.15c. La Rambla is a confirmed 5.15a grade. No women before her had ever climbed a 5.15 on the record. It took her nearly seven days to figure out how to reach the peak. Seven months later, she made headlines again, climbing her second 5.15a and becoming the first woman to send

CLIMBING TO THE TOP: HOW MARGO HAYES TO REDEFINING ROCK CLIMBING FOR WOMEN 6

TO BE ONE OF THE WOMEN WHO HELPED OPEN THE DOOR TO THOSE POSSIBILITIES,THAT IS AN HONOR. Biographie/Realization in Ceuse, France, one of the most coveted climbs of its caliber. Hayes was only the 15th person ever to climb Biographie/Realization. That Hayes would achieve these firsts at the cutting edge of the sport is perhaps unsurprising, considering her drive—in climbing and elsewhere. By the time she was 8 years old she was competing nationally in gymnastics. When she was 10 she joined the local climbing team, coached by Robyn Erbesfield, and the sport quickly became more than a hobby. By the time Hayes was 13, she quit gymnastics to focus entirely climbing, yet still managed to excel in school and pursue other passions like art and photography. At 21, she has now won two National Championship titles for lead climbing. “To be one of the women who helped open the door to those possibilities, that’s an honor,” she tells CNBC Make It. Hayes tracks her workouts, progress, travels, gratitude and “manifestations” in a bullet journal. She’s been writing

Margo Hayes with bloody fingers after a strenuous climb


Hayes hanging at a local rock climbing gym

down her goals since age 6, when she dreamed of becoming an Olympic gymnast (she eventually abandoned the sport after suffering a series of injuries.) Hayes typically trains six days per week, climbing for two to five hours per day both indoors and outdoors, and complementing her climbs with running, strength-building and stretching. Her go-to food is sweet potatoes — she has celiac disease, so they help her get fast carbs and energy to fuel her climbs. plementing her climbs with running, strength-building and stretching. Her go-to food is sweet potatoes — she has celiac disease, so they help her get fast carbs and energy to fuel her climbs. Over the last decade, the best female climbers in the world have been pushing right up to that 5.15a level. Climbing grades are subject to a community-wide consensus of difficulty, so women have climbed routes that were first considered to be at a 5.15a difficulty level but were retroactively downgraded after consensus was reached. With those shifts in mind,

THE QUESTION OF WHETHER A WOMAN WOULD REACH 5.15A WAS NEVER ONE OF “IF” BUT OF “WHEN” AND “WHO.” 7


CLIMBING TO THE TOP: HOW MARGO HAYES TO REDEFINING ROCK CLIMBING FOR WOMEN 8

Q & A with Margo Hayes What inspired you to climb La Rambla? I was inspired by the beauty, the difficulty, and the history of La Rambla! Can you describe the projecting process? How did the moves feel, and what was the crux for you? I always enjoy the projecting process on a climb. Whether it is a route that you send in three tries or one that takes many more, it is a journey.


FOR DECADES, WOMEN HAVE BEEN TAKING CLIMBING TO NEW LEVELS. I AM HONORED TO STAND AMONG THOSE WOMEN. WE WILL SEE MORE WOMEN PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF CLIMBING IN ALL OF THE GENRES. On my first time climbing La Rambla, I was able to do all of the individual moves, but not with ease. Over the next couple of tries, I became more comfortable on the individual movements and began to make some links. There is a definite crux at the top of La Rambla, and this was the hardest part for me. I would not point out a specific move as the most challenging for me, because I found myself falling at higher and higher spots rather than one stopper move. Do you think the climb fit your style well? I don’t think that I have a particular style because I try to expose myself to varying styles in order to learn more. I do really enjoy long endurance routes, because that is when concentration and focus really come into play. La Rambla is definitely one of those lines! What was it like to project the climb with Matty Hong and Jon Cardwell? Did you find it helpful to work the climb with others? It was fantastic to try a route alongside Matty and Jon! I enjoyed learning more about their individual approaches to climbing challenging routes, as well as being there to encourage each other. Our experience as a team in Spain surely brought us closer as friends. Did you ever think that the climb might not be possible for you, or were you pretty confident from the beginning? I knew that I was capable of climbing the route, but I was also aware that it wasn’t going to be easy. Although it is natural to experience some doubts, I tried my best to remain confident in my ability. Being positive increases the likelihood of success! Seven days is fast for the ascent, especially for such a hard climb and your first of the grade. How do you think you were able to climb La Rambla so quickly?

Thank you! I stayed committed to my goal. I was in good shape, but most importantly, I was determined. I think that this is ultimately what made it possible. The mind is so powerful! Do you feel any different now, after climbing La Rambla? Do you feel like the climb has changed your mindset in any way? Climbing La Rambla liberated me! It is a wonderful feeling! Because of the historic nature of the ascent, what do you think this means for women climbers? Do you think the “gender gap” in climbing, if it even exists, is coming to a close? For decades, women have been taking climbing to new levels. I am honored to stand among those women. We will see more women pushing the boundaries of climbing in all of the genres. I have so much respect for the climbers who have had the vision and the commitment to equip climbs such as La Rambla and for the many climbers in the international community who challenge and enjoy themselves, no matter the grade! What was the best part of the overall experience? What was the hardest part? The best part of the experience was being surrounded by beauty and the lovely people from all over the world! The hardest part was having to leave Siurana, Catalonia

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IN IT TO WIN IT: A LOOK INTO THE US SOCCER TEAM’S EQUAL PAY LAWSUIT 10

IN IT to WIN IT

WHY THE US WOMEN’S SOCCER TEAM IS SUING FOR MORE THAN JUST THE MONEY

Alex Morgan assured that her heart remains with American soccer.


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The

BATTLE begins

for members of the U.S. women’s national soccer team in the courtroom. A federal lawsuit by 28 members of the team alleging gender discrimination by U.S. Soccer is the latest dispute over pay for the USWNT. And this time, the women stand a good chance to win because of their recent performance on the field — and how much better they’ve been than the men’s team. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, in Los Angeles, alleges gender-based pay discrimination under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The plaintiffs’ success in these claims will hinge on how the court

THE U.S. WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM HAS ALSO OUTPACED THE MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM IN VIEWERSHIP, AS ITS 2015 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP GAME IS THE MOST WATCHED SOCCER GAME IN AMERICAN HISTORY — FOR EITHER GENDER.

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evaluates their recent successes on and off the pitch. According to the complaint, despite greater success than the U.S. men’s national team, the women’s team has consistently been paid drastically less. The women won the 2015 World Cup and shared a bonus of $1.73 million; the men lost in the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup and split $5.38 million in performance bonuses. The men, of course, didn’t even make the 2018 World Cup. Central to the lawsuit is an evaluation of whether members of the men’s and women’s teams perform substantially the same job. Historically, courts have upheld wage disparities between men and women in sports under assertions that men face greater physical and public pressures than women performing jobs in the same field. But filing the complaint in California may help meet that bar, as a 9th Circuit pay discrimination case brought by former University of Southern California women’s basketball coach Marianne Stanley could provide a favorable precedent for the plaintiffs. In Stanley’s case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit found that the University of Southern California did not violate the Equal Pay Act even though it paid Stanley significantly less than its men’s basketball head coach, George Raveling. The court determined Stanley and Raveling did not perform substantially equal jobs, because the university required more public relations and fundraising activities of Raveling, and the men’s team generated more fan interest and revenue. But that decision could help the women’s soccer players. Because compared with Stanley’s case, the roles and status between the genders in this

case are flipped. In recent years, the U.S. women’s team has outperformed the men’s national team by consistently being ranked No. 1 worldwide and winning the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and gold medals in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics. While the women’s team enters this year’s Women’s World Cup as favorites, the U.S. men failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, didn’t advance past the knockout stage in the 2014 World Cup and hasn’t secured an Olympic medal since 1904. Because of the U.S. women’s national team’s recent success on the pitch, team members have faced increased performance and public relations demands, while enjoying higher viewership ratings. The lawsuit alleges that while members of the men’s and women’s teams are subject to the same training expectations, the women’s team completed 19 more games between 2015 and 2018. Following the team’s 2015 World Cup victory, members engaged in a U.S. stadium tour attracting tens of thousands of fans. According to the lawsuit, the federation’s budget projection was shifted from a combined net loss for both teams of $429,929 to a profit of $17.7 million. The U.S. women’s national team has also outpaced the men’s national team in viewership, as its 2015 Women’s World Cup championship game is the most watched soccer game in American history — for either gender. Alex Morgan recently joined her new club team in France, simultaneously challenging herself against Europe’s best and dodging another year in the undesirable National Women’s Soccer League, but she assured on Monday her heart remains with American soccer. In an in-depth interview with The Guardian on US women’s soccer’s on-


“IT’S GREAT TO SEE WOMEN STANDING UP IN THEIR OWN LINE OF WORK AND FIGHTING FOR FAIR VALUE. WE’RE TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING AND WE’VE COME A LONG WAY. BUT IT GETS EXHAUSTING HAVING TO DO THIS EVERY DAY, EVERY WEEK.”

Lead scorer Abby Wombach dominates the field.

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going struggle for equal pay and rights, the star forward revealed how frustrating it has been to see her and her teammates’ effort to effect change fall short of tangible results. “It’s great to see women standing up in their own line of work and fighting for fair value,” she said. “We’re trying to do the same thing and we’ve come a long way. But it gets exhausting having to do this every day, every week. Our male counterparts have not had to fight as much – so sometimes you feel a little exhausted always having to prove yourself and show your worth.” Morgan, who announced in December her decision to sign a six-year deal with France’s elite Olympique Lyonnais after five years starring in America’s professional soccer league, appears determined to take more than her individual game to the next level. The 27-year-old suggested she and her national teammates could go on strike if US Soccer won’t meet their demands. “It’s necessary for change sometimes. It wouldn’t be the first time women decided to strike,” she said. “Co14

lombia and a couple of other countries might do the same. And Australia didn’t play us a year ago because of the same battle. We were supposed to play them in a few weeks and they decided not to get on the flight because they weren’t getting paid what they were worth – or anywhere close. Alex Morgan holds up her jersey during an introductory press conference with Lyon on Jan. 7.AP “To force a change sometimes you need to stand up. You know what you’re worth — rather than what your employer is paying you. We’re not scared. To move the women’s game ahead we need to do what’s necessary. I feel other national teams are looking at us for that guidance.” Morgan and her teammates have been open about their disputes with US Soccer over the years, which have gone beyond the collective bargaining agreement that ended last month and the shocking departure of the players’ lawyer, Rich Nichols, whom Hope Solo


THE TEAMMATES, WHO HAVE CONSISTENTLY BEEN PAID LESS THAN THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS,

pushed the team to hire two years ago. The women filed an unsuccessful lawsuit in 2015 to move World Cup games in Canada from artificial turf to grass, a rejection Morgan saw as a larger gender-bias problem festering in soccer’s governing body. “We took it very personally because it was an insult,” she said. “They had never done that for the men — and they never would. The men wouldn’t stand for it. We tried to take a stand and we brought in lawyers and tried to bring it to court in Canada. Lots of players were involved internationally. But it was too late to change anything.” The women couldn’t talk in detail about the current lawsuit, which details not only pay inequality but disparities in coaching, training, and play opportunities between their team and the men’s

team. But the legal action represents just one match in a long game. The teammates, who have consistently been paid less than their male counterparts, have spent years publicly battling for equality in their sport. That’s even after their World Cup win in 2015 became the most-watched soccer game in American history and led them to generate almost three times the revenue of the men’s team that year. And our conversation made it clear: they’re done with the status quo. The discrimination, the athletes said, affects not only their paychecks but also where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches. The players’ continuing battle with

HAVE SPENT YEARS PUBLICLY BATTLING FOR EQUALITY IN THEIR SPORT. 15


“TO FORCE A CHANGE SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO STAND UP. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE WORTH — RATHER THAN WHAT YOUR EMPLOYER IS PAYING YOU.”

U.S. Soccer, which is not only their employer, but also the federation that governs the sport in America, has thrust them to the forefront of a broader fight for equality in women’s sports. In recent years, players, teams and even athletes in other sports — American hockey gold medalists, Canadian soccer pros, W.N.B.A. players — have reached out to the United States players and their union for guidance in their efforts to win similar gains in pay and working conditions. “I think to be on this team is to understand these issues,” Rapinoe said in a telephone interview. “And I think we’ve always — dating back to forever — been a team that stood up for itself and 16

fought hard for what it felt it deserved and tried to leave the game in a better place.” For decades, U.S. Soccer has been a world leader in its support for women’s soccer; its investment of time and resources has made the United States, which is a three-time world champion and a four-time Olympic gold medalist, the dominant power in the women’s game. But throughout that period, generations of women’s national team players have complained that the federation’s financial support and logistical infrastructure have lagged behind that of the more high-profile men’s team. Those grievances have never been far from the surface; an earlier genera-


“WE’RE NOT SCARED.”

tion of top women’s players angry about their pay boycotted a tournament in Australia in January 2000, only months after a World Cup victory had made them the toast of American sports. The respect they have won has spread, too: Spain’s national team rose up to demand the ouster of its coach after the last World Cup, and several prominent members of Brazil’s squad quit their team to protest the ouster of a popular female coach in favor of a man. Players from Argentina and Colombia have gone public about mistreatment and meager pay, and Norway’s players demanded — and won — equal pay with their men’s counterparts. That, too, several United States players said, was part of their motivation to press ahead with their suit only months before they turn their focus to retaining their world championship. “We very much believe it is our responsibility,” Rapinoe said, “not only for our team and for future U.S. players, but for players around the world — and frankly women all around the world — to feel like they have an ally in standing up for themselves, and fighting for what

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“I understand there’s much more money in the men’s game. But FIFA spent so much time on the men they now need to focus a little more on us. I would like to close that gap even if I’m not expecting it to be equal.” they believe in, and fighting for what they deserve and for what they feel like they have earned.” The bulk of the suit mirrors many of the issues raised in a wage discrimination complaint filed by five United States players with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. Frustrated by a lack of progress on that complaint after nearly three years of inaction, the players received permission from the federal agency in February to sue instead. (One of the players on the original complaint, the former goalkeeper Hope Solo, filed her own gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer in August.) The suit offers a new forum but also new hurdles. The players, represented by Jeffrey Kessler, who has been involved in labor fights in nearly every major American sport, will have to prove not only that their team and the men’s squad do the same work, but also overcome questions about the differences in their pay structures and their negotiated collective bargaining agreements. And the C.B.A. has already left them without one bit of leverage: The players cannot strike to press their case at least until it expires at the end of 2021. But to experts in gender discrimination and Title IX cases, the argument they are making is familiar.

“These are the same kinds of arguments and claims that we still see at every level of education for women and girls, from K through 12 to college,” said Neena Chaudhry, the general counsel of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington. “It’s unfortunately a sad continuation of the way that women and girls in sports are treated in the U.S.” Morgan reasons: “I understand there’s much more money in the men’s game. But FIFA spent so much time on the men they now need to focus a little more on us. I would like to close that gap even if I’m not expecting it to be equal. I’m not expecting there to be a huge jump and the win bonus to be $35 million when, for the women, it’s $2 million. I don’t think the entire world respects women in sport. But if FIFA start respecting the women’s game more, others will follow.”Rapinoe added: “I think to be a woman in the world, in general, is frustrating . . . and I feel we spend so much time fighting against things. So, actually, just the shock of someone’s doing this really incredible, nice thing for us, and it’s also just the right thing to do? We’re never really in that position.”

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Profile for Anne Burke

Nine Magazine  

An experimental Magazine about Women's sports.

Nine Magazine  

An experimental Magazine about Women's sports.

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