Boston Marathon officials tried to pull her off the course, but Kathrine Switzer became the 1st woman to finish the race. Now she works to inspire other athletes.


She didn’t know it at the time, but a photograph of Kathrine Switzer running in the 1967 Boston Marathon would become an iconic image for sports and women’s equality.

The image showed Switzer, No. 261, in the middle of several men, as a race official attempts to pull her off the course. Switzer’s boyfriend, however, shoved the official out of the way, and she ran on to the finish.

Since then, Switzer has devoted her life to motivating and empowering women in sports. In 2015, she founded 261 Fearless, a global nonprofit organization that encourages women through running.

She is in Chicago this weekend to participate in the Humana Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series. Switzer, 72, plans to run the 5-kilometer race Saturday, then encourage runners in Sunday’s 10-kilometer and half-marathon races.

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