Mary Cain Creates a Professional Women’s Running Team To Support Young Athletes

Mary Cain was one of the fastest women runners when she was only 17. She was also the youngest American track and field athlete to make a World Championship Team.

The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano

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Mary Cain competed in the 2013 World Championships in Moscow when she was 17 and 3 months. Cain was born in 1996 in New York City and was raised in Bronxville New York. When she was coursing seventh grade, her running ability began to stand out. She then made part of the honors program at the University of Portland, Oregon, while competing as a professional athlete for Nike. At that moment, Alberto Salazar was the star-coach of Nike’s Oregon Project, and years later, Cain accused him of subjecting her to physical and emotional abuse. When interviewed about her situation, she said: "I got caught in a system designed by and for men which destroys the body of young girls."

However, the good news is that Cain has a new role, she is CEO and President of Atalanta New York, which is a professional women’s running team. But what’s new about this running team? Atalanta will be a non-profit running organization in which girls will train in the mornings and work for the non-profit during afternoons and weekends. It is worth highlighting that the organization will serve the objective of mentoring girls in deprived areas of New York City, with programming centered around education, movement, and community.

You may be wondering where the name Atalanta came from. It comes from Greek mythology and alludes to a speedy mortal. Atalanta was also the name of the first high-performance team for women based in New York in the 1080s. Cain was happy to announce that the salary of runners will be $60,000 dollars per year, and they will also have benefits which include health insurance.


One of her biggest longings was to help the runners develop additional skills and experience, thinking that their careers as athletes will have an expiration date. This is why she believes that working with the non-profit will help the athletes to work on other skills for their resumes.

Cain does not agree with non-disclosure agreements that prevent the public from knowing people’s salaries. Atalanta will make public its tax forms, reflecting what people within the organization are earning. But, where will Atalanta’s funding come from? The team has three sponsors: Airbnb, Nuun, and Tracksmith. On the other hand, its advisory board includes a former CEO of New York Road Runners and a five-time Olympian, among others.

The coach of the team will initially be Jonathan Green, who also trains Molly Seidel, who represented Team USA in the Marathon during the Tokyo Olympics. However, Cain mentioned in a recent interview that she also wants to find a female coach. She wants to make sure that Atalanta provides the athletes an ideal environment for training, which is why she will give her athletes a dual mission to run and to grow the non-profit.

With her Professional Women’s Running Team she intends to help young athletes who are facing a situation that she went through many years ago when she left high school and then found herself struggling under the Oregon Project System. Regarding her project, Cain said: "But I’m not going to just open the door. I’m going to stand there, I’m going to hold it open, so everybody else can pass through it. That’s exhausting, time-consuming, and at times it’s super depressing. I’m standing by the door, and I’m standing by the door until I die."

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