Kathrine Switzer To Run Boston Marathon To Mark 50th Anniversary Of Historic Run

BOSTON (CBS) – Back in 1967 Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official bib number.

Fifty years later, she’ll run again to mark the historic moment in women’s distance running.

Switzer, now 70 years old, and the Boston Athletic Association announced Thursday she will run the 2017 marathon with a team of women representing her new global non-profit, 261 Fearless, Inc. 261 is the bib number Kathrine wore that day in 1967.

Back then, the marathon was for men-only, but Switzer registered using her initials “K. V. Switzer.”  Race officials gave her a number and when they realized she was running the marathon, they tried to throw her out.

“It is an honor and joy to participate in the 121st Boston Marathon,” Switzer said in a statement.

“What was a dramatic incident 50 years ago when angry race co-director Jock Semple tried to throw me off the course for being a girl, became instead a defining moment for me and women runners throughout the world. The result is nothing less than a social revolution; there are now more women runners in the United States than men.”

Race co-director Jock Semple tried to pull Kathrine Switzer out of the 1967 Boston Marathon. (Photo credit: Boston Herald)

Race co-director Jock Semple tried to pull Kathrine Switzer out of the 1967 Boston Marathon. (Photo credit: Boston Herald)

Five years later, in 1972, the B.A.A. began allowing women to run as official competitors.

Switzer ended up running Boston eight times. Her personal best of 2:51:37 came in 1975.

WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes and Kathrine Switzer at the 2016 Boston Marathon. (WBZ-TV)

WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes and Kathrine Switzer at the 2016 Boston Marathon. (WBZ-TV)

She’s been a race analyst for the last 30 years during WBZ-TV’s annual broadcast of the Boston Marathon.

Runners interested in joining her team for Boston 2017 can apply at www.261fearless.org starting Monday at 10 a.m.

The 121st Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 17, 2017.  You can watch it live on WBZ-TV and CBS Boston.com.

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