Avenger of the Week | Kathrine Switzer

This weekend, almost 50,000 runners will embark on a 26.2 mile journey through the five boroughs of New York City during the New York City Marathon. 43% of those runners will be women. There was only one women participant in the inaugural NYC Marathon held in 1970, and she wasn’t even allowed to officially register because women were considered “too frail and biologically unfit for long-distance running” until 1972.


However, in 1967, a runner named K.V. Switzer registered for and ran in the Boston Marathon with an official number. K.V., or Kathrine, was a woman. She covered up under bulky clothes, and even when officials discovered she was a woman and tried to forcibly remove her from the race, she was determined to finish. In fact, Kathrine went on to win the 1974 NYC Marathon and was the last woman from New York to win that marathon. On Sunday, she’ll be running in her fourth NYC Marathon, at 70.

We are so grateful to Beverly Wettenstein for sharing not only Kathrine’s story but those of the other women who paved the way for women marathoners today. Do you feel the same? Drop a comment on Beverly’s story and spread the word about these important trailblazers.

21k women will run the @nycmarathon including trailblazer Kathrine Switzer. h/t @BWettenstein #genderavenger https://www.genderavenger.com/blog/avenger-of-the-week-kathrine-switzer