We take for granted now that we can enter whatever race we want. We can chew up the miles of halves, marathons, ultras and tris without anyone batting an eye. But this wasn’t always the case. Back in 1967, Katherine Switzer did something extraordinary – she was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
Though women weren’t forbidden from running the marathon, it was just assumed that none of them would. When race officials realised there was a woman on the course, they tried to rip off her bib number and push her of the road.
It’s an incredible story and we owe a lot to her act of defiance. During that one, what must have been terrifying run, Switzer made history and laid the ground work for us to be able to do what we do now.
Thank you Ms Switzer. It wasn’t in vain.
Read Katherine Switzer tell the story in her own words over on the BBC site.