Kathrine Switzer first ran in the American race in 1967 aged 20. Back then it was a ‘men only’ event and she was infamously attacked while running by race director Jock Semple, who tried to rip her bib – number 261 – off. Can you picture that happening now?
She still managed to complete the marathon in a time of four hours and 20 minutes, but was disqualified by race organisers, with one saying: “If that girl were my daughter, I would spank her.”
Though there were no official rules banning women, it wasn’t until 1972 that women were finally allowed to register.
Leading the way for women
Ms Switzer had registered for the all-male race using her first two initials K. V. instead of her full name.
Since then, she has run 39 marathons and set up a charity called 261 Fearless to support women runners.
Now 70, Ms Switzer returned to run the marathon again this week, crossing the finish line in four hours and 44 minutes – just 25 minutes slower than her original time.
An amazing achievement.