BOSTON (CBS) — Kathrine Switzer has finished the Boston Marathon, 50 years afters she broke the barrier for women wanting to run in the race.
Switzer registered for the Boston Marathon in 1967 using her initials. At the time, no woman had ever officially signed up for the race.
Armed with the bid number 261, Switzer successfully dodged the then race director Jock Semple’s attempt to pull her down. She realized at Heartbreak Hill that she wanted to create more opportunities like this for women.
Half a century later, Switzer was given the 261 as a bid number to run and her celebrated number was otherwise retired.
“It’s really fantastic and I’m really really grateful for that,” reacted Switzer to the honor. “That’s saying that this number really means something.”
“And it does,” Switzer continued prior to the race. “Because from it I have created the 261 Fearless Foundation and there are 125 people running with me today to raise money to empower women globally through running.”
Switzer described the 2017 Boston Marathon as “a race of celebration.”
“I can’t thank the streets of Boston, I can’t thank the B.A.A. enough,” she added.
Monday’s race also served as a point of reflection for Switzer.
“If all of this happened in 50 years, imagine what is going to happen in the next 50 years!”
Switzer crossed the line around 4 p.m.