Arts&Culture

Kathrine Switzer: The Fearless Woman Of Running

Kathrine Switzer: The Fearless Woman Of Running”

Carlson ran 26.2 miles in honor of 261, the bib number Switzer wore on that historic day.

Fifty years on, aged 70, Ms Switzer returned to the starting line wearing the same number.

Army Staff Sergeant Earl Granville is receiving a ton of attention, and rightfully so, for what he did during the Boston Marathon on Monday. Although Bobbi Gibb was also in the race for the second straight year, one of the unofficial runners known as bandits, race director Jock Semple fumed at the sight of Switzer in an official bib and tried to pull her off the course.

She finished in a time of 4:44:31, receiving widespread admiration and applause from fellow runners and on social media.

She noted that a woman had already run the course once - without entering. "Women rarely participated. Most people assumed that women could not run the marathon distance and if they tried they would hurt themselves", she remarks in her memoir. Despite the fact that the race is not a new experience for her, she said this year's run had an especially important meaning for her.

Granville could be seen around mile 26 carrying a woman on his shoulders, along with an American flag, so that she could cross the finish line. 50 years hence, in 2017, she ran the same marathon, with over 100 other women.

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Kathrine Switzer knows what it means to run for equal rights.

After the race, Granville took to his Facebook page to pen a thank you to his supporters.

Women were finally officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon in 1972. Wyoming had the fewest runners complete the marathon, with 21. She is the founder of 261 Fearless, a running club for women. In 2011, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, where they quote Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: "Well-behaved women seldom make history".

"And when he came to, he was so impressed", she said.

As the years went on she advocated for women to be admitted as full competitors - and kept running more and more marathons.



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