Mighty Moe: The True Story of a Thirteen Year Old Women’s Running Revolutionary

Written by Rachel Swaby and Kit Fox

Maureen Wilton is a 13 year old girl that set the world record for running marathons in 1967. She ran 26 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes and 23 seconds. Her teammates nicknamed her “Little Mo.”

Instead of celebrating the accomplishment she had attained and honoring her willpower in reaching her goals and working hard, Maureen is greeted with controversy and misogynistic accusations that she had cheated or took enhancement drugs so that she could win.

Moe just loved running. She started to keep up with her brothers and despite her height and being younger, she quickly outran them. Her parents were endlessly supportive, finding her a team and a coach and going to great lengths to get her to meets across Canada. Once her coach hired a private plane and her father raced her and other girls across town to fly directly from one meet to another across the country. Moe ran and ran and ran. It was beautiful, impressive, even intimidating. And then she ran herself out. The best runner of her generation was completely burnt out before she was twenty and quit the sport. Decades later, her own daughter asked her grandmother if her mother had ever run. Moe’s mother said she’d better ask her herself. Luckily Moe’s mother also had kept exhaustive scrapbooks.

This is a great story about how it all came down and how all of the controversy affected Maureen; she dropped out of the sport, when it was something she loved. Great read for young people to help them realize what other women have done to help women in sports today. We have come along way. Also, to not let the opinions of others and the media may affect you. It is one thing to participate in a difficult sport; it’s another to keep working under difficult conditions.

Reviewed by Marcia Ingram, Library Media Educational Technology Specialist, Eisenhower Jr. High
Review shared in April 2021
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Middle/High School

Mighty Moe: The True Story of a Thirteen Year Old Women’s Running Revolutionary
Written by Rachel Swaby and Kit Fox
Farrar Straus Giroux
320 pages
Release Date: October 15, 2019
ISBN: 9780374311605
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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