Women's Running Magazine Just Made a Powerful Statement About Runner Stereotypes

July 17th 2015

Laura Donovan

For the last month and a half, I've been running 4-5 times a week in 20-25 minute increments. My initial goal was to slim down, but my scale number hasn't budged. At first, this frustrated me, but many people started to comment on how toned I became, with some of them asking if I'd dropped any pounds. The scale says no, but I feel great and have been continuously breaking my mile time record. Though I weigh twenty plus pounds more than I did in high school, I'm a stronger runner with true stamina now.

That's one of the reasons I was so happy to see plus-size model Erica Schenk on the cover of Women's Running magazine's August issue. There are plenty of people who run regularly but aren't stick thin, and it's nice to see a fitness publication acknowledge this on its front cover. Schenk has been a dedicated runner for ten years and enjoys going for runs in Central Park.



The internet response has been overwhelming. Women's Running received ample praise for this on its Facebook page:

Erica Schenk on the cover of Women's Running magazine

Twitter users loved it too:

Editor-in-chief Jessica Sebor said in an interview with TODAY.com that the issue includes a piece on athletic companies moving to manufacture running clothes for all sizes.

"We were shooting her for that story, so we thought, let's put her on the cover, too," Sebor told the publication.

"There's a stereotype that all runners are skinny, and that's just not the case," Sebor said. "Runners come in all shapes and sizes. You can go [to] any race finish line, from a 5K to a marathon, and see that. It was important for us to celebrate that. I think that every woman goes to the magazine rack sometimes and feels like she can't see herself in the cover images. We wanted our readers to feel like they could see themselves in our cover."


Schenk wants people of all sizes to know that this particular form of exercise can be an outlet for them even if they're not super skinny.

"Some women believe that since they have curves they can’t run or shouldn’t run," she told Women's Running. "Running is for every body anytime."