Avon first introduced its International Running Circuit for women in 1978, yet athletes and women can still feel its effects today. A revolutionary program, the circuit provided women with the chance to experience competitive international running, to strengthen themselves and provide opportunity for generations to come. In its storied eight-year history, the series comprised more than 200 running events that stretched through 27 different countries and included over a million participants. Not only did the series have an incredible effect on the sports world and was instrumental in attracting more women to athletics, but Avon was also an integral force in getting the women's marathon officially included in the Olympic Games beginning with the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics.
As a precursor to the 1984 Olympic Games, the 1983 Avon International Marathon was held in Los Angeles and was contested on the actual course that was to be used the following year. Californian Julie Brown won the event hands down and since the race served as a qualifier for the 1983 World Championships in Helsinki, Brown and two other Americans earned a trip to compete in Finland.
At a time when female professional athletes were not encouraged or at times even taken seriously, Avon created a platform for women to excel in sports and galvanized them to develop their potential as serious athletes, increase their levels of health and fitness, and enhance their lives by becoming equals on the field and off. Today, Avon is poised to recreate this highly successful circuit and empower a new generation of women to triumph in sports and their personal well being.