First woman to run the Boston Marathon • • •
Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon as a numbered-entry. She gained worldwide-notoriety when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the 1967 marathon. A photo of this attempt by race officials became one of Time-Life’s “100 Photos that Changed the World.”
Switzer went on to run 39 marathons, and won the New York City Marathon in 1974. She ran her personal best in 1975, finishing second in Boston (2:51:33).
She is the founder and former director of the Avon International Running Circuit of women's-only races, which has held more than 400 events in 27 countries for more than one million women runners since the program’s launch in 1977. The Avon International Running Circuit was instrumental in convincing the International Olympic Committee to include a women's marathon in the 1984 Olympic Games.
In addition to her stellar athletic career, Switzer is an Emmy award-winning TV commentator and has covered the Olympic Games, and every televised edition of the Boston, New York City, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh marathons. She has appeared on Oprah, Nightline, CBS Evening News, Tonight, Today, Good Morning America, the BBC, CBC, PBS, and many other electronic and print outlets.
Marathon Woman, Switzer’s award-winning memoir, was first published in 2007. Her other books include 26.2 Marathon Stories (2006), co-authored with her husband Roger Robinson, and best-selling Running and Walking for Women Over 40 (1998). As a journalist, her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Parade Magazine as well as all major running publications.
Switzer was part of the inaugural class of runners inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, a winner of Abebe Bikila Award for Global Contribution to Sport of Running from New York Road Runners, has been named one of the Visionaries of the Century in 2000, a Runner of the Decade (1966-76), and a Hero of Running in 2012 by Runners World magazine, among many other awards. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2011 for creating positive global social change.
She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, and a master’s degree in public relations, all from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She and her husband live in the Hudson Valley of New York