Kathrine Switzer

Today, our blog talks about Kathrine Switzwer.

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Do you know who is this gorgeous woman?

If not, here is a bit info about her:

First Woman to Officially Run Boston Marathon Makes Triumphant Return. In 1967, 20-year-old Kathrine Switzer made history when she defiantly became the first woman to officially run in the Boston Marathon — even as race officials tried to physically stop her.

It was cold, wet and history making. She was attacked by a race official only 1 mile from the starting line. He didn´t think women could run in his marathon.

Kathrine Switzer: “ I wanted to run strong. And show that women could do something very difficult and still be women and still be feminine”.

Kathrine set off that day on 1967 alongside her boyfriend and her unofficial running coach, Arnie. Kathrine was attending Syracuse University where she met 50-years-old Arnie. He was not only the school´s mail-man, but a seasoned marathoner who helped Kathrine make history.

“ He regaled me with stories of the greatest day in his life which was the Boston Marathon, and one day I told him that I wanted to run it too. And he said “No women can run a marathon”, and I said “what?” and he said “You would have to prove it to me in practice, if you did it in practice, I´d be the first person to take you to Boston. So the bet was on. We began running together hard and one day we ran 26 miles. And he said “I don´t believe it, you look great” And I said, I don´t think we meassured this course right, let´s run another 5 miles. And he said “can you run another 5 miles?” and I said “of course I can”. And he said “Ugh, well I guess”.

We ran five more miles and at the end of the workout he passed out. And when he came to me he said “Women have hidden potential in endurance and stamina”.

Kathrine and Arnie checked the rules about gender at the Boston Marathon and it didn´t say anything about it. She registered as K. V. Switzer and showed up on race day.

Kathrine “I have been signing with my initials for a long time. Because my name was misspelled on my birth certificate by my wonderful father. I wasn´t doing anything to defraud them. That is how I signed my name”.

Wearing bib number #261 and lipsticks, Kathrine joined hundreds of men at the starting line of the Boston Marathon.

“I was blindsided by the attack and terrified, I was really scared to death. And I tried to get away from him. And he kept coming after me and cursing at me.

-Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers- Official marathon organizer.

“And kept trying to rip my numbers. But I kept both for the entire race. The race director attacked me at the mile and a half simply becuase I was a woman and because I was wearing a bib number. He though I was making a mockery about his race. He thought I was there beign a clown and a show-off. He was angry because he was an overworked race director who was protecting his domain and becuase it was a product of his time”.

Kathrine´s fellow runners jumped in to defend her.

“When the official attacked me, my boyfriend came to my assistance and knocked the official organizer. Arnie, my coach said: “RUN LIKE HELL”. And down street we went. I was thinking for a split of second if I should step off the course. Am I doing something terribly wrong?. No, I have trained hard, I deserve to be here. This guy just doesn´t understand and if I step off the course, noone is going to belive it that WOMEN CAN DO THIS. It´s going to set women´s sports so far back. I have got to finish this race”.

It empowered women to follow her steps. In 1972, women were officially allowed to run Boston Marathon.

Info taken from:

https://kathrineswitzer.com/

Upworthy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d-t19rh2hA

Photo by: https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/17/us/boston-marathon-kathrine-switzer-trnd/index.html

Marina Martinez Sanchez