This year, Girls on the Run will serve its one-millionth girl! We’re honoring this milestone by celebrating what makes each of us one in a million and by showcasing some one-in-a-million women who have made exceptional contributions to empowering girls and women —beginning with Kathrine Switzer, the iconic sports and social advocate whose participation as the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon made sports history in 1967.
During the marathon—which had always been a men’s-only event—the race director attacked Kathrine mid-stride and tried to physically remove her from the race. The photo of this incident created a world-wide uproar and became one of Time-Life’s “100 Photos that Changed the World.”
Radicalized by the incident, Switzer has spent her life campaigning for sports equality for women. In addition to running 39 marathons and winning the New York City Marathon in 1974, she created the Avon International Running Circuit of women’s-only races in 27 countries and played a role in convincing the IOC to include a women’s marathon in the Olympic Games. In 2011 she was inducted into the U.S.A. National Women’s Hall of Fame for breaking barriers and creating positive global social change. Because of her, millions of women are now empowered by the simple act of running.
Here’s what Kathrine has to share about being one in a million.