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Switzer Honored at Boston Marathon, 50 years later

REEBOK Women's "25,915" Luncheon
(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images for REEBOK)

Kathrine Switzer was back at the Boston Marathon, 50 years after she was the first woman to officially enter and run the race. In 1967, she entered the race under the name K.V. Switzer and was issued the bib number 261.  According to Wikipedia, during the race, one of the race organizers, Jock Semple, grabbed Switzer and tried to rip off her number.  Switzer’s boyfriend Tom Miller, a 235-pound ex-All American football player and nationally ranked hammer thrower who was running with her, shoved Semple aside and sent him flying to the pavement and into the history books.

Later in life, Jock Semple reversed his position on women competing in the marathon. One of the later organizer of the race said, “Once the rule was adjusted and women were allowed in the race, Jock was one of their staunchest supporters. He was very progressive.”  Semple later publicly reconciled with Switzer.

The 70 year old Switzer’s number 261 is being retiree in her honor.

Boston Marathon Results

Kenya swept the Boston Marathon on Monday morning, with Geoffrey Kirui beating United States’ Galen Rupp by 22 seconds.   Edna Kiplagat won the women’s division.

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