75. Kathrine Switzer Runs the Boston Marathon
On race day, K. V. Switzer stepped up to the line, bib number 261 affixed to a gray hooded sweatshirt, ready to take on the Boston Marathon.
Once the starter’s gun went off, Number 261 bobbed along with the pack of runners until one noticed that the K. stood for Kathrine, not Kevin or Ken.
Kathrine Switzer had to hide her gender because women weren’t allowed to run in the Boston Marathon in 1967 and her presence caused quite the scandal. Men, both runners and officials, pushed and shoved her, grabbed her and did all they could to disqualify her from competing.
It didn’t work.
She completed the race with the help of her boyfriend who helped block her from officials, registering a time of 4 hours and 20 minutes. She ran again in 2017 with the same number, which was retired in her honor after the race. Her time was a little slower, but the completion was just as sweet. It wasn’t until 1972 that women could run the Boston Marathon, officially and under their own names.