Switzer Completes the Boston Marathon Again - 50 Years Later



Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon, has crossed the finish line again 50 years later.

Back in 1967, the Boston Marathon was an all-male race.  Switzer had registered using just her initials to avoid detection and her gender remained unnoticed until a few miles into the race.  When spotted, an angry official tried to rip the number 261 from her back and prevent her from continuing.  The images capturing this moment have since become ingrained in public consciousness and have seen Switzer hailed as a hero of the women’s rights movement.  Switzer was able to evade the official, and she successfully completed the Marathon in 4 hours 20 minutes.

Now aged 70, Switzer ran the race again wearing the number 261, finishing just 25 minutes slower than she had 50 years prior.  This time, Switzer was met with cheers from the crowd, demonstrating the progress that has been made in the last few decades.  Switzer commented on the support:

‘I’ve got to tell you it was one of the most gratifying emotional experiences I’ve ever had [...] it was a wonderful moment.’

12,300 women registered this year for the Boston Marathon; a dramatic difference from Switzer’s initial race.  Writing on her Facebook page later, Switzer wrote of her positive outlook for the future when it comes to women’s rights:

‘I finished, like I did 50 years ago.  We are here to change the life of women. Just imagine what’s gonna happen in 50 years!’