In 1967, 19-year-old track athlete Kathrine Switzer decided she wanted to run the Boston Marathon. So she signed up using only her first initials.
When furious race officials discovered there was a woman on the course, they tried to physically remove her. A hard shoulder check from Switzer’s boyfriend put an end to that, and Switzer finished the race. But newspaper cameras caught the moment and pasted the shots on their front pages.
Switzer went on to found a series of running races for women, all the while tearing down myths about why women shouldn’t run.
Almost 50 years later, running is so popular among women, they now outnumber men at many races. Switzer is still surprised.
“I always expected to see the day we would be equal in numbers …. But I didn’t think it would ever exceed men,” she said in an interview from her home in upstate New York.