First Woman to Compete in Boston Marathon 50 Years Ago Runs Again
Katherine Switzer, the first woman to have officially joined and finished the Boston Marathon, is celebrating her triumph five decades ago by running again in the said event. At the age of 70, Switzer managed to run the race with a qualifying time of 4 hours, 44 minutes and 31 seconds.
Switzer went down in sports history by finishing the marathon in 1967 despite encountering attacks from the race director for the mere reason that she was a woman. With her persistence to complete the event, the athlete finished the race with the approval of everyone while paving the way for females to experience equality in running.
Switzer has not joined a marathon since 2011, although she has been showing her support for women’s participation in running. During the 121st Boston Marathon, the bib number 261 was retired by the race organizers as they acknowledged these digits worn by Switzer during the 1967 marathon. The only other retired number in the Boston Marathon is the number 61 for the 61 races started by athlete Johnny Kelly.
While she began running since the age of 12, Switzer decided to join the race at the age of 20 with her coach’s encouragement. Prior to registering to the event, the athlete needed to prove to the coach that she will be able to complete all of the 26 miles in the marathon.
“There were no real rules in 1967 stating that the Marathon was for men only,” Switzer said. “Nor was there anything indicating gender on the entry form. But almost all sports were for men. Women rarely participated. Most people assumed that women could not run the marathon distance and if they tried they would hurt themselves.”
Merely two miles into the event, a race official began attacking Switzer. She described the man as having the “most vicious face” she had ever seen and was ready to pounce on her. According to Switzer’s account, the official grabbed her by shoulder and screamed at her, telling her to get off his race and give the bib number back.
Switzer’s boyfriend, who had run the race with her, was able to push the race official out of her way, allowing her to keep running.
“I knew if I dropped out no one would believe women could run distances and deserved to be in the Boston Marathon. They would just think that I was a clown, and that women were barging into events where they had no ability,” Switzer explained.
More in Life
A Pizza Helped Rescue This Missing Child — Here’s How
Who knew that something like pizza would help locate a missing child? Four-year-old Yvette Henley had been missing three weeks, until...Aug 21, 2017
Drug Dealer Dramatically Turns His Life Around, Enrolls At Cambridge
For anyone who has ever thought that they’re just too far gone to change their life, this inspiring transformation story is...Aug 21, 2017
His Canceled Flight Ruined Everything Until He Decided to Play the Lotto
Do you believe in fate? Imagine sitting at an airport for a couple of hours, only to find out that your flight...Aug 21, 2017
A Mom Was Scolded for Putting This in Her Child’s School Lunch
Over the past five years, school lunches have been refocused toward healthier choices for children, but some schools are making changes...Aug 20, 2017
This Restaurant Doesn’t Charge Customers; How Does It Stay Open?
You’ve probably heard that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but try telling that to the customers of this...Aug 20, 2017
Nobody Showed Up to His Birthday Party, Until The Cops Pulled Up…
No one likes spending their birthday alone without any friends to celebrate with, but there’s an added sense of tragedy when...Aug 20, 2017
Homeless Dog with Broken Legs Finds New Home and a Chance at Better Life
Two years ago, couple Łukasz Muniowski and Natalia discovered a homeless dog living in a ditch while the two of them...Aug 20, 2017
Army Veteran with Dementia Receives Assurance that His Duty is Over After Insisting He Needs to Return to War
84-year-old Lawrence Silk, a retired army veteran who did three tours in Vietnam, is suffering from dementia and during his “down”...Aug 18, 2017
Underprivileged Kid Graduates from Harvard After Defying All Odds
“From this part of Ohio, only the children of doctors and lawyers get to go to Ivy League Schools,” these are...Aug 18, 2017