April 2015, Cambridge

marathon

running alongside the army a few days after the marathon bombing, 2013   (sonya kovacic)

running alongside the army a few days after the marathon bombing, 2013 (sonya kovacic)

In 1967, 19 year old student Kathrine Swtizer was the first woman to register for the Boston Marathon. She registered under the name K.V. Switzer to disguise that she was a woman. When race director Jock Semple saw her running with a number, he tried  to push her out of the race. Switzer continued and finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Katherine Switzer wasn't the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon. That honor goes to Roberta Gibb who ran it in 1966 without a number. Gibb wrote an application to "the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). The Boston Marathon was the only marathon I had ever heard of. Will Cloney, the race director, wrote back a letter that said that women were not physiologically capable of running 26 miles and furthermore, under the rules that governed international sports, they were not allowed to run." She ran anyways and finished in 3 hours and 21 minutes, ahead of two-thirds of the runners.


Women were officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon in 1972.


Caroline Rotich from Kenya won the 2015 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:24:55.

Take a look at this 1966 headline about Roberta Gibb.

Watch this 3 minute pbs video about Kathrine Switzer.