Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Moment

Open-Minded Men

Open-Minded Men

More From Kathrine

In this video

Switzer on the welcoming reception she generally experienced from men in the marathon world.

Kathrine 's Biography

Cause of Choice: Women's Sports Foundation
First Paying Job: Public relations at Bristol Mayers
Headline News: Before her barrier-busting run in Boston, she first sparked national headlines by running the mile in a men's track meet in college.
A Mile a Day: She says, learning to run a mile a day is "the thing that changed my life...It translated into everything else I did. I said, 'Well, if I can run a mile a day, I can try out for the poetry club...It gave me a lot of confidence, courage, and belief in myself.'"

Kathrine Switzer was in the habit of signing her college papers “K.V. Switzer” and did so when she registered for the all-male Boston Marathon in 1967. She wasn’t the first woman to run the race, but her presence as an official entrant made her a visible and potent threat to the sports world’s status quo. The simple gesture exploded when an official attacked Switzer on the course, grabbing for her race numbers and screaming and cursing at her before being body blocked by her boyfriend.
 
The incident was broadcasted worldwide and put a shocking face on the hostility to women’s full participation in athletics. Time-Life listed it among its “100 Photographs that Changed the World.” Switzer was radicalized by the incident. Her 38 subsequent marathons (she’s still running them) include a win in New York in 1974. She led the successful drive to get the women’s race into the Olympic Games, has won an Emmy for her TV commentary, and is the author of three books, including her memoir, Marathon Woman. Switzer’s ongoing campaign to help women around the globe empower themselves through the simple act of running made her a 2011 Inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. 

Related Videos

Yang Lan
Yang Lan
Chairperson

Yang Lan learned from her resilient grandmother the strength of women and has been using media to show that strength ever since. She made a name for herself as a TV talk show host ...

Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State

Raised in Birmingham, Alabama Rice was on her way to becoming a concert pianist before turning to international relations and developing a career as a respected Soviet specialist. ...

Elizabeth Gore
Elizabeth Gore
Activist & Cause Marketer

Elizabeth Gore grew up working on her family's cattle ranch in Texas. Now the Vice President of Global Partnerships for the United Nations Foundation, she is currently managing...

Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen DeGeneres
Comedian

Ellen DeGeneres is a daytime TV juggernaut and entertainment pioneer. Her hit syndicated talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, is a haven for discussion, deadpan comedy, and a coll...