1967 Boston Marathon
While attending college, Kathrine Switzer entered and completed the race in 1967, five years before women were officially allowed to compete in it. Her finishing time of approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes was nearly an hour behind the first female finisher, Bobbi Gibb (who ran unregistered). She registered under the gender-neutral “K. V. Switzer”, which she insists was not done in an attempt to mislead the officials.
Race official Jock Semple attempted to remove her from the race, and according to Switzer said, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend Tom Miller, who was running with her, shoved Semple aside and sent him flying. The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.
As a result of her run, the AAU barred women from all competition with male runners, on pain of losing the right to compete. Switzer, with other women runners, tried to convince the Boston Athletic Association to allow women to participate in the marathon. Finally, in 1972, women were welcome to run the Boston Marathon officially for the first time ever.