April 18, 2017 — Who knew that running could make history? This is the week of the Boston Marathon, and the most newsworthy story to come out of it this year is Katherine Switzer’s historic run. Make that two historic runs: back in the day and yesterday.
Fifty years ago, as a 20-year-old student at Syracuse University, she registered to run as K.V. Switzer, but when she showed up and began running, she made history in this then all-male race – at a time when women were thought to be “too fragile” to run long distances.
From the Washington Post piece, “Her boyfriend, Thomas Miller, threw a block that knocked [co-director of the race, Jock] Semple out of her way, allowing the 20-year-old runner from Syracuse University to finish the race in 4:20:02 at a time when women were thought to be too fragile for long-distance running.
“Semple later disqualified Switzer for, among other things, running with the men. She’d registered under the name “K.V. Switzer” not with the intention of becoming a women’s pioneer in the sport but to prove to her coach, Syracuse’s Arnie Briggs, that women could run 26.2 miles.
“’What happened to me was a radicalizing experience. And it was one that made me bound and determined to change things for women,’ she told the Boston Globe. “Running had given me everything, and I wanted other women to feel that as well.
On Monday, Switzer, now 70, ran the Boston Marathon for the ninth time, finishing the race in 4:44:31. And this time, she was greeted with acclaim… ” READ THE REST AND WATCH THE VIDEOS