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Boston Marathon: Meet the first woman to run it – BBC News

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In 1967, the American athlete Kathrine Switzer, became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. At the time, athletics officials believed women were incapable of running more than a mile and a half. After crossing the finishing line, Switzer was disqualified. It was an experience that turned her into a campaigner for women’s sport.

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Date: June 25, 2020

47 thoughts on “Boston Marathon: Meet the first woman to run it – BBC News

  1. Katherine Switzer is NOT a hero or an example to be followed. At that time the rules excluded women and she was disrespectful dishonest and a cheat. She showed no respect for the race or the many people who made enormous contributions over the years to make it a GREAT race. It was MEN who built the race and made it great! If she wanted to run the Boston Marathon she could have worked to change the rules to allow women to participate or organized a women’s Boston Marathon. If Katherine Switzer never existed women would not be running in the Boston Marathon today? She did NOTHING but act like an ass.
    5 years later in 1972 when women were permitted to run in the Boston Marathon officially how many women came to run? Only 8 women ran in the 1972 Boston Marathon so don't tell us all about your oppression and how women were being "HELD BACK". The fact is that very few women wanted to run any race at that time. It's time to put an end to gender segregation in sports and give you all the "equality" that you want. Put up or shut up and compete against men and you will get what you deserve. And while you’re at it you can register for selective service, reinstate the draft and get your ass put on the front line. You came a long way baby but you have a long way to go.

  2. I am not sure if anyone mentioned it in this thread already, (and I have not yet seen the video completely) but though Katherine Switzer is one of the first women to ever run the Boston Marathon, there reportedly was a woman who did it before her by the name of Bobbi Gibb. Ms Switzer has made something of a business talking about herself as the first woman to do it (or so it seems) but she may not actually have been the very first woman to run the Boston.

  3. Katherine Switzer was the first women to “officially” run the Boston marathon but Roberta Louise "Bobbi" Gibb is the first woman to have run the entire Boston Marathon.

  4. katherine was not the first woman to run boston,bobbi gibb was first in 1966 ,she was first to cross the finish in 1967 and 1968 , katherine was the second woman that is the truth,charlie rodgers

  5. Great! Wonderful! Really a great accomplishment and it opened the door to fairness and equality. Hooray for Kathrine! But in all the stories, there is no mention of the name of her boyfriend who nailed the official who tried to yank her out of the race. So congratulations to that unheralded hero who put the great downfield block that sent the "official" flying out of bounds and save the day. Come on Kathrine, you say he was your boyfriend, but you never mention his name. You know, the old saying is true, "Behind every great woman, is a great man!"

  6. There apparently some people who would disagree with the title of this video:

    "Bobbi…–The point was not to trick the officials into giving me an illegal number. The point was to demonstrate that I could run a marathon and run it well.

    Jan—So, far from being official, Kathy was less legal than you. She was running with an illegal and invalid men’s division number even though technically she was in the unsanctioned women’s division race." ………..

    "Jan—It bothers me that no one takes Switzer up on this stuff. She is deluding the public and giving the impression to everyone that she was the first. She has those photos, which she uses as her trademark of Jock trying to remove her illegal number. It’s like a cigarette ad—an image, the Malboro Man… Smoke Cools… or Virginia Slims.
    Laurie—That’s her career, PR, sports announcing, race promotion getting race sponsorship.
    Jan—But it’s false advertising. It’s not good for her in the long run. When people find out the truth, they are angry. She looses credibility. And it certainly casts a shadow over the running community. And its not good for women either to find out that a woman who has marketed herself as a women’s rights advocate has been less than honest."

  7. The boyfriend is a hero. The coach is a guiding angel. Why are they not interviewed? It is those that see injustice and do something that deserve credit. some women think they can do it all on their own. this story shows different.

  8. She was not the first. She was the first to run with a number. Bobbi Gibb run the year before (1966), and also 1967, and finished before Switzer. Why they forgot to mention that in the video?

  9. She didn't sit at home crying and complaining about how woman are a minority in this "Patriarchy" she went out and did what she enjoyed not letting anything stop her. But, feminists never recognize real women like this!

  10. Kathrine Switser's finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female finisher, Bobbi Gibb (who ran unregistered, and thus was not paid due attention and is [obviously deliberately] not mentioned here by Kathrine Switzer). Kathrine certainly did the right thing by meeting the bigotry head on, but when she implies she didn't plan confrontation when she entered under a non gendered name she's waffling. She was definitely an attention hog, and used the attention both to further her career and boost her ego.

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