50 years later: South Bend runner finishes Boston Marathon, honors first woman

  • 50 years later: South Bend runner finishes Boston Marathon, honors first woman

50 years later: South Bend runner finishes Boston Marathon, honors first woman

Course officials tried to pull her off the path, but she was not to be denied.

She paved the way for female runners like me when she was the first to officially run the race in 1967, fighting off then-race organizer Jock Semple.

Monday, bib number 17144 crossed the finish line thinking of the woman who came before her, and the ones that run alongside her.

She noted that a woman had already run the course once - without entering.

Kathrine Switzer, the first official woman entrant in the Boston Marathon 50 years ago, reacts at a news conference, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Boston, where her bib No. 261 was retired in her honor by the Boston Athletic As.

Jordan Hasay from the United States, who was making her debut in marathon clocked 2:23.00 for third place. 50 years hence, in 2017, she ran the same marathon, with over 100 other women.

Crossing the finish line on Boylston Street was really inspiring.

Switzer completed this year's race only a little slower, in 4:44:31. Now 58% of marathon runners in the United States are women. Included in those were members of the 261 Fearless Boston Marathon Team, an organisation Switzer founded after racing in 1967 to empower women in athletics.

Switzer began organizing women's road races that helped persuade the Olympics to add a women's marathon in 1984. And she competed in Boston several more times, placing second in the women's race in 1975 with a time of 2:51, her personal best.

He said the flag was sent to him while he was recovering from his devastating injury, but because he was feeling bitter and anti-social as he struggled to cope with the loss of his leg, he waited years to unfurl it. "A big man, a huge man, with bared teeth was set to pounce, and before I could react he grabbed my shoulder and flung me back, screaming: 'Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!' They would just think that I was a clown, and that women were barging into events where they had no ability".

Switzer and her coach pored through the rules and regulations about the Boston Marathon and couldn't find anything about gender.