Athletics: Trailblazer of women’s distance running

Kathrine Switzer’s uterus did not fall out. Neither did her chest sprout hair.

She is a living, breathing myth-buster, still running the streets of Wellington and proving that women can run without turning into men. It’s so obvious today, but 40 years ago when Switzer unwittingly became a pioneer of women’s distance running such beliefs were common.

She smashed those prejudices with an incident captured in a photograph which became world famous. It shows Switzer’s tall figure in a grey tracksuit bearing the number 261 in the 1967 Boston marathon. She has a look of trepidation as race organiser Jock Semple scrags at her, enraged that a girl – a girl! – would have the temerity to run in his race.


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Kathrine tells the
real 1967
Boston Marathon story!
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