Forty-three years ago, the U.S. amateur sports organization barred women from long-distance running.
Then a Syracuse University student who trained with the men’s cross country team, Kathrine Switzer entered the race anyway in 1967 — as K. V. Switzer, as she always signs her name.
About four miles in, race official Jock Semple charged after her in an attempt to tear off her bib: “Get the hell out of my race, and give me those numbers!”
Switzer pushed on even as press trucks trailed her, finishing the race at 4 hours and 20 minutes.
And ever since, she’s been known to the world as the first woman to officially enter and complete the Boston Marathon. Switzer proved to non-believers that women could run 26-mile races, and the photo of Semple trying to tackle her continues making headlines.
As the world’s largest race, the Boston Marathon officially accepted female runners in 1972.
Switzer will be back in Central New York Sunday with her husband Roger Robinson in Auburn for a talk as well as run in the Empire State Marathon along Onondaga Lake on the same day.