CUT THE RIBBON, KATHRINE SWITZER

Posted on January 22, 2014 by Editorial Staff

Kathrine Virginia “Kathy”, ribbon cutter and of course, runner. She has run 35 marathons, winning NYC’s 1974 edition. She is best known as the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered entry. During her college years, she in fact,  entered and completed the race, five years before women were officially allowed to compete. She registered under the gender-neutral “K. V. Switzer”, which she later insistsed, was not done in an attempt to mislead the officials. She claimed to have long used “K. V. Switzer” to sign the articles she wrote for her college paper. Jock Semple, official,  attempted to physically remove her from the race but Switzer’s boyfriend, at that time Tom Miller, who was running with her, shoved the official aside. 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 but 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.