Kathrine Switzer

Kathrine Switzer

kathrine switzer bio

Iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author, and Emmy award-winning television commentator, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon. In 1967, she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as an officially registered competitor. she was physically attacked by the race co-director for officially registering and running in what was then considered a men’s only race.

In addition to playing field hockey and basketball, she ran a mile each day, relishing the fitness and sense of empowerment she gained from running. After high school graduation (1964), she began running three miles a day to prepare for the field hockey team at Lynchburg College, in Lynchburg, VA. Switzer went on to run 39 marathons, and won the New York City Marathon in 1974. She ran her personal best in 1975, finishing second in Boston (2:51:33).

Switzer is an Emmy award-winning TV commentator and has covered the Olympic Games, World and National Championships as well as the New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles marathons and every televised edition of the Boston Marathon (34 consecutive years!). She is a dynamic public speaker, journalist and author of three books.

Kathrine Switzer Bio
Full NameKathrine Virginia Switzer
OccupationMarathon Runner, Author, Television Commentator
Date of BirthJanuary 5, 1947,
Age 74 years
Place of BirthAmberg, Germany
EducationGeorge C. Marshall High School
Syracuse University
HometownEagle-Vali, Colo
author of three books, Marathon Woman
26.2 Marathon Stories
Running and Walking for Women Over 40
Career Highlights
1967Becomes first woman to officially enter and finish the Boston Marathon
1974Wins New York City Marathon
1975Runs a personal-best 2:51 at the Boston Marathon, making her sixth in the world and third in the United States among female marathoners
1977Begins nine-year stint as director of Avon Sports Programs
1984Provides TV commentary for inaugural women’s Olympic marathon in Los Angeles
1997Returns to Avon as program director of Avon Running Global Women’s Circuit
1997Publishes first book, Running and Walking for Women Over 40
1998Named one of five inaugural inductees into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame
2000Receives Fred Lebow Award from Road Runners Club of America
2002Becomes director of women’s health and fitness for RYKA’s Take Fitness to Heart initiative, a series of walking and running events
2003Receives NYRR’s Abebe Bikila Award
2007Publishes memoir, Marathon Woman
2008Marathon Woman, wins “Billie Award” from Women’s Sports Foundation
2011Inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame
2012Named a “Hero of Running” by Runner’s World magazine


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