Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Article of the Week - Kathrine Switzer


Kathrine Switzer (born January 5, 1947) is an American author, television commentator and marathon runner, best known as the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. She entered and completed the race in 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete in it. Her finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female finisher, Bobbi Gibb (who ran unregistered).

She registered under the gender-neutral "K. V. Switzer". It was not done in an attempt to mislead the officials; she had long used "K. V. Switzer" to sign the articles she wrote for her college paper. Race official Jock Semple attempted to remove her from the race, and is noted to have shouted, "Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers." However, Switzer's boyfriend Tom Miller, who was running with her, shoved Semple aside and sent him flying. The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.

As a result of her run, the AAU barred women from all competition with male runners, on pain of losing the right to compete.

Switzer, with other women runners, tried to convince the Boston Athletic Association to allow women to participate in the marathon. Finally, in 1972, women were welcome to run the Boston Marathon officially for the first time ever.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kathrine Switzer"

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