From the New York Times
Fifty years ago, a runner officially entered as K.V. Switzer participated in the Boston Marathon. On Monday, she did it again at age 70.
Kathrine Switzer’s marathon in 1967 became historic because she was the first woman to complete the all-male race as an official entrant — her registration as “K.V. Switzer” hid her gender. The race resonated far beyond a footnote in the record books when an official tried to force her from the course after a few miles.
“The marathon was a man’s race in those days; women were considered too fragile to run it,” she wrote in an essay for The New York Times 10 years ago. “But I had trained hard and was confident of my strength. Still, it took a body block from my boyfriend to knock the official off the course.” Switzer recovered to finish in 4 hours 20 minutes.
Switzer completed this year’s race only a little slower, in 4:44:31.
Women were finally officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon in 1972.
Women’s marathoning has come a long way, joining the Olympics in 1984 and gaining popularity through runners like Grete Waitz and Tegla Loroupe. More than half of marathon runners in the United States are women.
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