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

“A pink running skirt”

“A pink running skirt”

More From Kathrine

In this video

Switzer talks about where she differed from the women's movement and happily embraced her feminine side.

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

Gina Bianchini
Gina Bianchini
Social Software Entrepreneur

Gina Bianchini, a social software entrepreneur, does not believe in missing opportunities. Previously CEO of Ning, co-founded with Marc Andreessen, she now heads the Palo Alto, Cal...

Hu Shuli
Hu Shuli
Investigative Journalist

Hu Shuli grew up and studied in Beijing, where she proceeded to become an investigative journalist, founding her own financial magazine. A five month trip to the United States earl...

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren
Senator (D-Massachusetts)

As a young mother, Elizabeth Warren went to class at Rutgers Law School while her husband worked at IBM. In 1978, the family relocated to Houston, where Warren started teaching at ...

Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates
Co-Chair and Trustee, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

As co-chair and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates helps to shape and approve strategies, setting the overall direction for the foundation. In develo...