Kathrine Switzer's Blog

Kathrine recently ran her first marathon in 34 years. Read how she did it!

About Kathrine

with 10 comments

Kathrine Switzer has been an iconic athlete and leader in the women’s sports movement for four decades.  She is the woman who broke the gender barrier at the previously all-male Boston Marathon in 1967, an incident that revolutionized the sports world when she was physically attacked by the race director for wearing official bib numbers in the race. (See photos) Switzer was radicalized by the incident and went on run 35 marathons, set a personal best of 2:51 and to win the 1974 New York City Marathon. Turning her focus to women’s equality, she created the Avon International Running Circuit for over a million women in 27 countries, and was a leader in the drive to get the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games. Switzer now works as a television broadcaster, author and public speaker. She has covered all the major marathons in North America as well as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and won the first of several Emmy awards in 1997. Her latest book, a memoir entitled MARATHON WOMAN, is presently electrifying the running world. Other books include Running and Walking for Women Over 40 and 26.2 Marathon Stories, co-authored with her husband, well-known author and masters runner Roger Robinson.  Kathrine has run for over 50 years, and has competed in hundreds of races. Presently, she is training for her first marathon run in 34 years.

A Few of Kathrine Switzer’s Career Highlights:

· Winner, 1974 NYC Marathon.

· Broke Gender Barrier at 1967 Boston Marathon

· Emmy Award-winning TV commentator

· Author, MARATHON WOMAN (DaCapo Press), Running and Walking for Women Over 40, the Road to Sanity and Vanity (St. Martin’s Press), co-author 26.2 Marathon Stories (Rodale Press)

· Founder and Director, Avon Running Global Women’s Circuit

· Winner of Abebe Bikila Award for Global Contribution to Sport of Running from New York Road Runners

· First class of inductees into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame

· Named one of the Visionaries of the Century (2000) by Runners World Magazine


Written by kevinm

February 8, 2010 at 1:05 am

10 Responses

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  1. Fun to train vicariously through you as I’m still in couch potato mode with my heel/bursitis. I’ll be thinking of you this weekend; my half (accompanied by bursitis) will probably take me as long as your full!

    Cathy Troisi

    March 11, 2010 at 11:10 pm

  2. I heard you speak at the WCR Clinic on Thursday (5/6), so I had to check out your blog. You have a GREAT list of accomplishments! You’re such an inspiration to female runners everywhere!


    May 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm

  3. Kathrine… I just finished “Marathon Woman” and, wow, I’m completely amazed at what it all took just to get the women’s marathon at the Olympics! I never realized just how recently this was added to the Olympics! Thank you for having the courage to take that first step and train for Boston!!

    My dad started running in the 70’s, so my brother and I went to all kinds of races. There were always women running, but now that I think about it, not that many! I watched Grete Waitz run Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, and I’m sure I saw a number of the other women pioneers in that time. I was never a runner back then – couldn’t do a quarter mile without almost falling over! That changed when I was in college – I now love the challenge of the Marathon and running is one of my passions. Running has brought so much to my life – love, friendship, time to work through life’s puzzles – I can’t imagine not having it. It’s a best friend.

    Thank you again for your courage, tenacity, and taking the time to share your story! You are an inspiration to me.


    Henrita van W.

    May 25, 2010 at 11:14 am

    • Thank you Henrita! Running IS a best friend, isn’t it? Thank you for writing and I’m so glad you enjoyed my book. It’s turning out to be an important history. Right now, I’m in Berlin, and visiting the marathon museum here. Our history is so important to understanding our future. Go for it, I look forward to meeting you one day. My best, Kathrine


      May 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  4. Hi Miss Switzer,

    My name is Alejandro Reyes you met my father and I at the Chicago Marathon Expo in October. I left my blog information for you to look at when you have spare time. Good things have happened since my last Marathon. I got sponsorship from Brooks Running which included new running shoes, shorts, a shirt and a jacket. Production on the film I’m trying to do is running a little slow, Nevertheless I’m happy to say it’s not keeping me from training. As you read this I would like for you to do me a favor, I’d like for you to spread the word about my blog within the running community. I feel that the more people know about this project and the easier it will be to find support. I which all of the success in the world and happy holiday.

    Alejandro G. Reyes


    Here is a link to my video promo

    Alejandro Reyes

    December 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm

  5. I have heard your name from other women marathon runners. They love you so much. I have been reading about you and I am one of your newest fans. I was active in sports but a bit hyper (ADHD)in grammar school. My punishment was running laps. I ended up falling in love with running and the gym teacher could not get me to stop running. (I had sworn I would run the Boston Marathon, one day) In my mid-twenties, I stopped running do to odd work schedule. I fell away from running. Ten years later, which would be three years later, I had gained weight and the doctor said I was boarderline diabetic and needed to exercise. I began running with a cousin and remembered my love for running. Then I found myself running 5K and 10Ks. Last weekend, I ran my first PF Chang half marathon. It was AMAZING. I have much work ahead of me when it comes to marathon competition. But the love of running is why I get up in the morning.

    The more, I read about your life and achievements, I continue to be motivated.

    Adeline Garcia

    Adeline Garcia

    January 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  6. I was just recently introduced to your accomplishments by my best friends who heard you talk at the 2010 Boilermaker expo. I am very inspired to read your book “Marathon Women” and to cross the finish line.

    My best friends and I are determined to run a marathon before May 2012.

    Thank You,
    Syracuse, NY

    Emily Bielejec

    February 7, 2011 at 12:53 am

  7. Hello again Kathrine. My thanks for signing “Marathon Woman” yesterday at the Royal Victoria marathon expo(May 8th 2011) I’ve fallen in love with your memoir and I know that my daughter Cathi will cherish this book when I finish it. I also ran Boston in 1983 at the age of 43, still have the medal & plaque beside me and told my children and wife Dorothy that I wish to be buried with these cherished momentos. It has been a pleasure and an honour meeting you. Great photo on the book cover!
    Best regards, a fan, Gilles

    Gilles A. St. Denis

    October 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

  8. Hello Katherine,

    I heard you speak at the Icebreakers function just before the New York Marathon a few weeks ago!! We spoke—- and you told me that it would be the greatest experience in my life as it was my first marathon! of course I asked you if it was better than “something else” and you said just as good! Well, not sure about that but it was a fabulous experience and I completed the whole marathon (I had achille and calf problems). Anyway it was just great meeting you and I would like to return the favour of having you around for dinner, with Roger of course, when you are next in Auckland! I wonder if you remember me? ( you planted a kiss on me)!! Vincent Barnao

    Vincent Barnao

    November 25, 2011 at 9:53 pm

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