First woman to officially run Boston Marathon does it again, 50 years later

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Kathy Switzer

Bettmann/Bettmann Archive
Trainer Jock Semple -- in street clothes -- enters the field of runners (left) to try to pull Kathy Switzer (261) out of the race. Male runners move in to form a protective curtain around female track hopeful until the protesting trainer is finally wedged out of the race

- In 1967, Kathrine Switzer registered for the all-male Boston Marathon under the name K.V. Switzer — hiding her gender — and went on to become the first woman to officially run the race.

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Fifty years later, according to the New York Times, the 70-year-old Syracuse University grad returned to the starting line in the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, April 17.

Switzer took to Facebook and Twitter to document her experience throughout the 26-mile trek from start to finish.

She stopped at the place where, 50 years ago, one of the Boston Marathon race organizers, Jock Semple, tried to force her off the course.

Switzer told NPR that Semple jumped off the media truck and began yelling at her.

"It took a body block from my boyfriend to knock the official off the course,” she penned in a New York Times essay 10 years ago.

She ended up finishing the race in four hours and 20 minutes, wearing the number 261.

Since then, the star athlete has competed in more than 30 marathons and won the New York marathon in 1974.

On Monday morning, Switzer donned the same three digits she wore in 1967, when she first shattered stereotypes about women and sports.

According to WFXT, the Boston Marathon will retire Bib No. 261 in honor of Switzer. 

The race has only retired one other number in its 121-year history. The No. 61 bib was retired in honor of John Kelley, who ran with the number, completing his 61st Boston Marathon in 1992 at the age of 84.

Read more at the New York Times.

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