Wow, I’m thrilled to be interviewed on the amazing new site “Empowering Women” at Hearst Magazine! They wanted to know the background of the 261 Women’s Marathon in Mallorca, but got more than they expected! I hope you enjoy it!
Kathrine Switzer : marathon woman
…Switzer crossing the finish line in ’67 was a seminal moment in women’s sporting history. By 1972, women were allowed to enter the Boston Marathon, but it would take another 12 years for the women’s marathon to become an official event at the Olympic Games.
The 261 Women’s Marathon, named in homage to its organiser’s Boston Marathon bib number, is being held on the 8 March 2015 in Palma de Mallorca – International Women’s Day. This is no coincidence; the race’s mission is to empower women to believe, ‘If I can run 26 miles, I can do anything’. Hearst Empowering Women spoke to Switzer, 68, about how running is changing women’s lives and what being tackled on the track felt like in ’67.
What is it about running that you love?
Running has probably given me everything in my life, one way or another – my career, health, sense of accomplishment and religion. I’m so close to nature when I’m running, I’m like part of the universe. [When] you have a real problem, if you run long enough you’re going to solve it. You also get a lot of grief out: when my mother passed away, running saved me.
When you entered the Boston marathon in 1967, did you do it simply because you wanted to run a marathon or because you wanted to prove women could do it?
Was I proud of being a woman? Absolutely. Was I trying to politically prove a point? No. I’ve been running since I was 12 and when I first heard about a marathon, it was like when a climber first hears about Everest, I thought, I’ve got to do that. The guy at Syracuse [University] who was effectively training me […] had run the Boston Marathon 15 times. To get me through the workouts, he would tell me stories about it. When I said, ‘Let’s just quit talking about it and run it’, he said, ‘A woman can’t run it’, but said he’d take me if I proved I could do the distance in practice.