5 Surprising Facts About The First Woman To Run Boston Marathon
Most people know that Number 261 was the number Katherine Switzer wore in 1967 at the Boston Marathon before they allowed women to run. (Literally, people thought our uterus would fall out. Wow....) Here are a few facts about her that you may not have known:
1) In the YouTube video below, she talks about her parents and they sound AMAZING, especially her Dad. Katherine came home one day and said, "I'm going to be a high school cheerleader next year when I go to high school." Her father said, "The game is on the field. Life is to participate, not to spectate."
2) The Video also said that after Katherine said that she wanted to run the Boston Marathon, her beloved coach at Syracuse University said that women were too weak and too fragile to run 26.2 miles. This was a coach that she admired very much, but she told him that he wouldn't run for him any longer if he didn't support her.
3) According to katherineswitzer.com, she signed her application K.V. Switzer so the race officials wouldn't know that she was a woman. At the beginning of the race, she wore a hoodie to keep her face covered.
4) The YouTube video Katherine says that she was afraid that she would be caught. Hard to believe that fear was a factor, but when race officials came around with their clipboards checking numbers, she thought she'd be kicked out right then and there, but she wasn't. They just went about their business and pushed her through.
5) Katherine said, in the best part of the video for me, that there's not a day that goes by that she doesn't thank Jock Semple for trying to push her out of the Marathon in 1967. He made her so angry that there was no way that she was going to quit. She went on to found 261 Fearless, a social running network for women.
Every year, I wear this jacket with the Boston Marathon logo on it. Although I have no desire to run the Boston Marathon, I DO love the story of Katherine Switzer and of any inspiring woman. I'm not going to get on my soap box here about how we've had to overcome because if you are a woman and you are reading this, you already know.