Boston Marathon pioneer still pushing boundaries

Kathrine Switzer the woman who broke the gender barrier at the Boston Marathon, turns 65 next month but shows no signs of slowing down.

Regarded as the global pioneer of women’s running, Switzer’s life turned in a direction she could never envisage when she lined up in the 1967 Boston Marathon as a 20-year-old.

After she registered as KV Switzer, race official Jock Semple went ballistic when he discovered she was competing in what he deemed a male-only event and tried to physically stop her.

Switzer’s boyfriend intervened and sent Semple flying and the photographs and story created headlines around the world.

A traumatised Switzer finished her first marathon in four hours and 20 minutes that day and she is still going strong – running the Motutapu and Berlin marathons last year.

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