1st woman to officially run Boston Marathon runs 50 years later

WASHINGTON — Fifty years ago, Kathrine Switzer made history by becoming the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon, and Monday she will pound the pavement again.

In honor of Switzer’s monumental achievement, the Boston Marathon will retire bib no. 261.

When Switzer filled out her entry forms for the race in 1967, she used her initials “K.V. Switzer.” At the two-mile mark, race official Jock Semple tried to forcibly remove her from the all-male race, tearing of the corner of her bib.

Switzer’s boyfriend shouldered Semple, and she was able to continue racing. Switzer finished the marathon in four hours and 20 minutes.

A year earlier, Bobbi Gibb was the first woman to complete the race, unofficially; she was denied an official bib, but popped out of the bushes to be able to run the race. Gibb was in the 1967 race, too, but she did not have a bib like Switzer. She even finished the race ahead of Switzer at 3:27:17. In 2016, Gibb was named one of the grand marshals of the race.

It wasn’t until 1972 that women were officially able to run the race. Eight women ran the 1972 race and Nina Kuscsik finished first among them.

Switzer will run alongside 120 members of 261 Fearless, her nonprofit organization.

Below is footage of Switzer running the Boston Marathon in 1967. You can see her running starting at 0:13.

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