Monday was one of my favorite days of the year when I lived in Massachusetts: Marathon Monday! The Boston Marathon takes place on the third Monday in April, and the college I went to is on the route. I could watch the runners from my dorm room window. We'd have the day off of school, though, so I'd usually be cheering on the runners with my friends as part of the "Scream Tunnel." I'm not a runner myself, so I'm pretty impressed with everyone who competes. Watching the elite runners cruise by is incredible- they so fast, so focused, and so clearly in their element. This year, the honorary starter for the elite women was barrier-buster Kathrine Switzer.
In 1967, Switzer registered for the men-only Marathon as K.V. Switzer. She got a bib- number 261- and started the race. A few miles in, race officials were alerted to the fact that a woman, and tried to physically stop her from continuing, as seen in the photo above. Nevertheless, she persisted, and finished the race. She wasn't the first woman to actually run the Marathon, but she was the first to do so as an official entrant. After her run, the field was opened to women and today almost half of all participants in the Boston Marathon are women. This year, Switzer ran the marathon again at age 70. You can read more about the full story here and here, and listen to Switzer talk about the experience in the video below: