Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The first woman to run in the Boston Marathon (1967)

In 1967 Kathrine Switzer entered the Boston Marathon, officially a male-only event, by signing her application form as K.V. Switzer.  As she was running, one of the directors of the marathon, Jock Semple, attacked her, started screaming at her, and tried to throw her out of the race.  (He's the guy behind her in the photograph above.)  Her football-player boyfriend, who was running with her, body-blocked Semple and knocked him off the road.  Switzer finished the race.

It's worth reflecting that 1967 wasn't really that long ago.  And this happened in the United States, not in Saudi Arabia.  Some useful historical perspective  ...

=>  For a video clip that includes a retrospective interview with Kathrine Switzer and some moments from the 1967 marathon, see below.

(Thanks to Mom's Clean Air Force for the tip.)

—Jeff Weintraub