Celebrating Women's History Month : Pioneers in Fitness


In 1967, when Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon, no woman had done so for 70 years. Under the name K.V. Switzer, the 19-year-old Syracuse University journalism major was able to enter the event unknown to race officials, until race director Jock Semple caught wind there was a woman running. After jumping from the press truck into the field of runners, Semple attempted to remove Switzer -- forcibly -- from the race, when her boyfriend Tom Miller shoved him out of the way. She finished the race in four hours and 20 minutes, but it wasn't until she saw her photo in newspapers that she felt the marathon would truly change her life, she said in the recent documentary MAKERS. Women were finally allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1972. Switzer went on to win the 1974 New York City marathon, and later set her personal record (2:51) in Boston in 1975, before turning her attention to campaigning for the women's marathon to be added to the Olympics. She's left her mark on women's running, for the casual jogger and Olympic medal winner alike. "I met her when I ran Boston the first time in 2009," Olympic distance runner Kara Goucher told ESPN. "It is fair to say that her courage to run the Boston Marathon paved the way for me to live the life that I do. Thanks to her bravery, I am living my dreams and running professionally." Switzer, now 66, ran the Berlin marathon in 2011 in four hours and 36 minutes, a time fast enough for her age to still qualify her for Boston. She plans to run in Boston in 2017, to mark the 50th anniversary of her historic race, according to her website. -- SK

Originally Taken 2/28/2017 From The Huffington Post 4:45 PM EST.