I subscribe to Runner’s World, and I find some of the articles interesting, some helpful, and some I just skim. I recently read an article on running “Heros.” The one that intrigued me the most was Kathrine Switzer. As a newer runner and a woman, I should probably already know about Kathrine Switzer, however, I had not heard of her. So I wanted to share her story with you. It is Woman’s History month, and Kathrine has definitely made history for all women.
In 1967, “Switzer became the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. She registered using her then-standard signature, K.V. Switzer. But near mile two, race official Jock Semple–irate that a woman was in his race–grabbed her and tried to yank off her number. Images of the scuffle helped launched Switzer as a potent symbol for equality. She went on to promote women’s running and equality in sports; it became her life’s work. She created a running series that held events in 27 countries for over a million women and fought for the inclusion of the women’s marathon in the Olympic Games.” Runners World, January 2012 issue. Full excerpt here.
In 1972, women were finally allowed to run in the Boston Marathon, thus this year marks the 40th Anniversary. The first Olympic Women’s Marathon, however, did not occur until the Olympics were in Los Angeles in 1984. How is it possible that it took until 1984 for women to be able to run an Olympic marathon?
In October 2011, Kathrine was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Syracuse, New York. You can learn more about Kathrine Switzer on her website here. If you scroll down on her homepage, you will see she is traveling all over the place this year for different races and speaking engagements. In 2013, a PBS documentary will be released called, “Makers: Women Who Make America.” Kathrine will be interviewed in this documentary. You can watch a short preview here. You can also view the list of AMAZING women that will be interviewed in this documentary here.
I cannot wait for this documentary to be released next year. In addition to Kathrine, the other women in this documentary are courageous, funny, fierce, sassy, and inspirational!