Avon Running & the Olympic Marathon: An Empowerment Story
Posted by Avon Company by Susan Arnot Heaney, July 31, 2012
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, London 2012 will mark the first Olympic Games in which women athletes from Saudi Arabia will participate. But it was not long ago that all women were barred from many competitions, including the marathon. Then Avon came calling and helped change the face of running. Yes, Avon.
As marathons rose in popularity for men, common belief held that women could not run 26.2 miles or, if they did, it would endanger their health (including sterility). Enter Kathrine Switzer, who ran the men-only Boston Marathon in 1967 (as KV Switzer) and was, in her own words, “radicalized” when race officials attempted to drag her from the course.