The year was 1967 and Boston Marathon runner No.261, K. Switzer was off to a steady start.
A few minutes into the race a man ran onto the course shouting,
“Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers…”
While attempting to physically pull Switzer from the track.
He was Jock Stemple the race organiser.
She was Kathrine Switzer.
The press photographs of the dramatic event made worldwide headlines and earned Kathrine her place in women’s running history.
At the time women were barred from running competitive marathons; it would take a further five years of campaigning for Kathrine and her fellow female runner’s to be allowed to compete legitimately in the race.
Luckily for Katherine her running mate in 1967 was an All American football player and nationally ranked hammer thrower called Tom Miller.*
He had little difficulty removing Jock Stemple from the course, allowing Kathrine to continue with the race.
She said “I knew if I quit, nobody would ever believe that women had the capability to run 26 miles”.
She did it in 4 hours 2 minutes.
I salute Kathrine Switzer.
*Reader, she married him.