50 Years Later, Kathrine Switzer Runs Her Last Boston Marathon


Apr. 18 2017, Published 12:52 p.m. ET

Share to XShare to FacebookShare via EmailShare to LinkedIn

Yesterday for the final time, 70-year old marathoner Kathrine Switzer crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

For those unfamiliar with her journey, Switzer was the first woman to run and complete the marathon 50 years ago with an official bib. Until her entry into the race in 1967, women were barred from participating in marathon running as a sport.

At the time, Switzer was a 20-year old journalism student at Syracuse University (Go Orange!) and determined to break this masculine cycle. Two miles into the race, however, the race director aggressively ran up to Switzer in an attempt to rip off her bib and throw her out of the race.

Nevertheless, she persisted – finishing her first run of the Boston Marathon at 4 hours and 20 minutes.

In 1972, five years after Switzer became the first woman to cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon, women were invited to enter the race and run with officially race numbers.

It’s incredible to believe that just 50 years ago, women were not allowed to run alongside men – let alone be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication in training for the 26.2 mile journey.

Wearing the same bib number (261) she wore 50 years ago, Switzer ran alongside thousands of women across all age groups, races and cultures in yesterday’s race. She finished at an impressive 4:44:31, running 10:51 seconds per mile.

If it weren’t for Kathrine’s determination 50 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to complete my first marathon last October, or any of the races that I’ve run in the last two years of my running career.

Article continues below advertisement

On behalf of all women marathoners, Kathrine, I thank you for breaking the mold. It’s is because of you that we are able to claim unapologetically that women do run the world.

Ambition Delivered.

Our weekly email newsletter is packed with stories that inspire, empower, and inform, all written by women for women. Sign up today and start your week off right with the insights and inspiration you need to succeed.


Latest The Main Agenda News and Updates

    Link to InstagramLink to FacebookLink to XLinkedIn IconContact us by Email

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    Black OwnedFemale Founder