In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially register and run in the Boston Marathon. She and her teammates managed to finish the race, despite having to fend off race officials when they tried to physically pull Kathrine out of the race.
Also known as ‘Marathon Woman’, she's created a legacy that's not only paved the way for female athletes to participate in the Boston Marathon, but also caused positive changes on a global scale. She has been, and continues to be, an inspiring and fearless advocate for social change and women’s equality.
In 2017, on the 50th anniversary of her legendary achievement, Kathrine ran in the Boston Marathon wearing bib #261, the same number she’d worn in 1967. She completed the race, joined by over 13,700 women, almost half of the total runners. Following this race, in recognition of all of her accomplishments, the #261 bib number was retired. She said, “When I go to the Boston Marathon now, I have wet shoulders—women fall into my arms crying.They're weeping for joy because running has changed their lives. They feel they can do anything.”
Kathrine is one of the co-founders and driving forces behind a non-profit organization called 261 Fearless, a global network that strives to empower, connect and inspire women through running. As Kathrine puts it, “Running will wonderfully change your life. Let it. We invite you to join our fearless community!”