Boston Marathon: First Woman To Compete In Race 50 Years Ago Runs Again

Her body buckles as it is wrenched backwards; her face grimaces while other runners her stare incredulously at what is happening barely a mile and a half into the 1967 Boston Marathon.

In 1967 a 20-year-old student at Syracuse University became the first woman to officially participate in the Boston Marathon. 50 years later, Kathrine Switzer crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon wearing the same bib number.

Switzer’s marathon in 1967 became historic because she was the first woman to complete the all-male race as an official participant. She registered as “K.V. Switzer” to hide her gender.

A few miles into the race, an official tried to remove Switzer from the race and rip off her bib.

“Instinctively I jerked my head around quickly and looked square into the most vicious face I’d ever seen. A big man, a huge man, with bared teeth was set to pounce, and before I could react he grabbed my shoulder and flung me back, screaming, ‘Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!'” she wrote in her memoir.