Monday, April 16

Katherine the Great (a nod to Boston)

The year: 1967
The person: Katherine Switzer
The event: The first woman registers for, and completes, the Boston Marathon at a time when women were banned from the course. (She registered as "K.V. Switzer.")
The scandal: The event organizer, Jock Semple, tried to pull Switzer from the course, yelling "Get the hell out of my race!"
Image source
So... Happy 116th birthday to the Boston Marathon.
Happy 45th anniversary to K.V. Switzer's epic run.
And happy 40th anniversary of the first Boston Marathon that didn't chase women off the course. Thanks to that change in rules, today 43 percent of entrants are female.

Watch her interview with PBS here:

My (personal) favorite quote from the interview:
"I'm gonna' finish this race on my hands and my knees if I have to... Because nobody believes that I can do this, and suddenly I realize, you know, if I don't finish this race, then everybody is going to believe women can't do it and that they don't deserve to be here and that they're incapable."
It wasn't until 1984 that women were (finally) allowed to run the marathon in the Olympics. That rule was changed in response to the lobbying work of Katherine and others.

Thank you Katherine!

Aren't you glad we no longer need bodyguards to run?


  1. Wait - bodyguards are an option? I am so signing up!

  2. I'm impressed by #390's body check.

  3. What's so crazy to me is that this all happened in relatively recent history - not so long ago. I'm so grateful for Katherine and other woman for paving the way for us.


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