On Monday, 70-year-old Kathrine Switzer ran the Boston Marathon for the ninth time in five decades. Fifty years ago, while she was a Syracuse University undergraduate, she became the first woman to ever run it officially.
The Boston Marathon had 13,698 female entrants in 2017, with women making up about 46 percent of the field. Switzer was the lone woman in 1967.
“I was just trying to run,” Switzer said, “that’s all I wanted to do.”
Arnie Briggs, Switzer’s trainer, didn’t think a woman could run 26.2 miles. After Switzer proved that she’d be able to finish, he let her compete. Switzer had no intent of making a statement in 1967, but race official Jock Semple attacked her, making her run symbolic.