Most Kiwis wouldn’t guess that, nestled in the hills of Wellington, a global sporting superstar has made a home. Thousands of kilometres away from the US, where she’s mobbed by fans, the world’s most famous female marathon runner enjoys a more laid-back life of dinner parties, movie nights and pounding the pavements of the windy city.
Because at 72, Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a registered entrant, in 1967, is still a runner and still committed to women’s empowerment. “All things being equal, you can run for your lifetime,” says Kathrine. “I’ll run ’till I drop! There are, of course, injuries — I tripped on a tree root the other week — and anybody can get sick. But it’s phenomenal what the body can do, and studies show that women who exercise as they age live longer, live more happily and are more optimistic.”