International Women's Day heroes: Kathrine Switzer - Women's Running

International Women’s Day heroes: Kathrine Switzer

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  March 4, 2021

Join us for International Women’s Day to celebrate some of our heroes: today we're talking about Kathrine Switzer, An accomplished marathon runner who works tirelessly to get more women running

Kathrine Switzer is the American distance runner who changed the face of women’s equality in running when she ran in the 1967 Boston Marathon at a time when it was still considered a men-only race.

The controversy that swirled around this iconic event tends to diminish the athletic achievements of one of the world’s most renowned female runners. Kathrine went on to run Boston eight times, bettering her first time in 1967 of 4 hours 20 minutes down to 2 hours 51 minutes in 1975. At this time, she was the third fastest American woman and sixth fastest in the world. Her 27-minute victory margin in the New York City Marathon in 1974 remains the biggest margin of victory in the history of this race.

Her wise words to those planning to run their first marathon this year? “The more prepared and knowledgeable you are, the more you can enjoy the experience, notice your surroundings, make friends on the way, soak in your own amazing greatness,” she told Women’s Running. “Write down your memories before they fade. Write down your dos and don’ts in your logbook to remind you what worked and what didn’t.

“The determination to finish is also important. You will have things that conspire to make you want to quit, but if you can overcome them, you will feel the triumph forever. The biggest thing I learned from my first marathon is that I then knew I could do anything.”

Kathrine continues to fight for the empowerment of women globally through the 261 Fearless movement, named after her Boston Marathon number.

Read Kathrine’s marathon advice here.

Celebrate more #IWD heroes with us: Dame Kelly Holmes

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

Meet the team

We use cookies to give you a better experience on By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it