The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon

The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon Kathrine Switzer

American marathon runner, writer, and television commentator Kathrine Virginia Switzer. She ran the Boston Marathon as the first female legally registered competitor in 1967. As a result of her run, the American Athletic Union prohibited women from competing in races against men until 1972.

The Boston Marathon did not allow women to participate because they are not physically capable of running 26 kilometres.

Switzer covered her long hair with a hooded sweatshirt to avoid attention, but a few miles into the race, the hood came off and it was obvious that a woman was competing in the Boston Marathon as an authorised entrant.

Jock Semple, the race director, attacked Switzer while she was running in an attempt to take her bib number and disqualify her from the competition.

Switzer completed the marathon in about four hours and twenty minutes. Photographers caught Semple’s assault, and the chaos on the course made headlines around the world.

The significance of Switzer’s escape from Semple’s charge considerably outweighed Bobbi Gibb’s accomplishments as the first woman to cross the finish line in 1967, with a time over an hour faster than Switzer’s.