Kathrine Switzer reckons that, at the 2018 New York City Marathon, around 3,000 runners would have had their period. If each was using three disposal sanitary products for the duration of the race that equates to 9000 items of single-use waste heading to landfill – from one marathon.

It didn’t take much, then, for the groundbreaking runner – and founder of global charity 261 Fearless – to embrace what a life changing experience Hello Cups can offer women. Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to meet Kathrine and chat to her about our vision for The Hello Cup, and all the opportunities we hoped we would one day be able to explore. We could see Kathrine’s extraordinarily active mind ticking. On the spot, she ordered 50 cups to take back to her team who would soon be running the Boston Marathon.

As the months moved on, a relationship between Kathrine and The Hello Cup was taking shape. It became really clear to us, and to Kathrine, that there were huge opportunities within the marathon and running communities to introduce the concept of a period cup. Kathrine was super excited – she likened the advent of the menstrual cup to the invention of the sports bra, in terms of just how revolutionary it could be to female athletes, across many sporting codes. 

We agreed! Mary (who co-founded The Hello Cup) is a runner herself and knows the drama of running on your period. Women have handled it a multitude of different ways over the years – some using more than one tampon at once (ouch!), making multiple loo stops (never great for the Personal Best), taking contraceptives or other medication to stop their period arriving altogether, or even free-bleeding on the course.

The Hello Cup changes all that. Because it holds three times the fluid of a tampon and can be worn for up to 12 hours, it’s perfect for marathons. And it’s a fully zero waste product – so there’s no clogging up landfills. It also gives runners the opportunity to run, fearlessly and to their best ability when they have their period.

Kathrine’s 261 team and ours got to work, designing a very special limited edition cup in 261 Fearless’ signature purple colour. Ten percent of all sales go back to the amazing work 261 Fearless does empowering women around the globe. 

We decided there was only one place to launch the collab so headed to New York and to the world’s most famous marathon – which Kathrine won in 1974! Yep, a little start up from New Zealand, still in its first year of production, took a stand at the New York City Marathon Expo – where we introduced the Americans (and a whole lot of other runners from every corner of the globe) to the concept of The Hello Cup.

Joining us on the stand were cup gurus Kim and Amanda from Put A Cup In It who helped us educate about cup use and the benefits cups offer. We loved talking about Hello Cups  – and we were super stoked to get a ‘best in show’ nod from Competitor Running website.

Thanks to Kathrine and her 261 Fearless team – it’s been quite the ride so far. The Limited Edition 261 cups available to purchase on our website – so you too can own a little piece of vjayjay history while supporting a great cause at the same time. 

Have a listen to Kathrine talking about the collab on Radio New Zealand or find out more about her incredible story in this great article on the Spinoff website.