Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon back in 1967 and 50-years-later, she did it again.
When Switzer first ran the marathon, she registered as “K.V. Switzer,” hiding her gender. When it became obvious she was a woman, a race official tried to literally push her off the route. (Photo above) “The marathon was a man’s race in those days; women were considered too fragile to run it,” she wrote in an essay a decade ago. “But I had trained hard and was confident of my strength. Still, it took a body block from my boyfriend to knock the official off the course.” Switzer recovered and finished in four hours, and 20 minutes.
Women weren't officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon until 1972, but since her historic run, Switzer has competed in over 30 marathons. Now, 50-years later, 70-year-old Switzer ran in yesterday's Boston Marathon again. What's more, she was given the honor of firing the gun for the women’s elite runners and her number, 261, was retired after she crossed the finish line.