R for Running a marathon #AtoZChallenge

Let me start by clearing the air. I am not running a marathon. Yet.

Today’s story is about Katherine Switzer. This year she marked 50 years of the day she was stopped from running a marathon. Yes, you are reading it right. Until 1972, women were not allowed to run marathons.

Katherine was the first woman to run the Boston marathon in 1967. At that time, this was a men’s only event and Katherine was physically removed from the race, however, her boyfriend who was also running helped her continue and finish.

Her timing?

4 hours and 20 minutes.

After Katherine’s efforts, the Boston Marathon started accepting women in the event in 1972 and officially marathons became a part of the Olympics another twelve years later in 1984.

As I was reading about Katherine, I realized what if she had given up and not objected to this discrimination. What if, she had stopped running and pursuing what she wanted to do?

I wish and I hope that we never stop believing in what we truly want and that will start the journey from impossible to possible.

By Marathona (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


I am participating in the A To Z Challenge for the third time this year and I am penning Stories from everyday life.

18 Responses

  1. Shalini says:

    I wonder why women were not allowed? Discrimination in sports too? Very sad!
    Respect for her never-say-die spirit to continue on!!

    A gorgeous Summer Palace in Bangalore

  2. Suzy says:

    Very inspiring. I never knew women were banned from marathons. Hats off to her and her indomitable spirit. And how awesome that she will run again. Thanks for sharing.
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  3. Anita says:

    Great that she dared to dream& made history as the first female Marathon runner.
    Power of belief! Very inspiring, Parul.
    Anita recently posted…Simplicity #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  4. That’s one amazing woman and one great story of grit and determination! Rightly said, what if she had given up?Women wouldn’t be running marathons today!

  5. Shantala says:

    Wow! I am amazed that until the late 1960s women were banned from marathons! So ridiculous! But I guess, back then, protecting the male ego was more important than protecting women’s rights.
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  6. Shari says:

    I didn’t know that piece of history about the Boston Marathon, thank you for sharing. I love running, but I have to confess that I don’t read or research must about the history of it.

    Stopping by from A to Z: R for Race
    Shari

  7. Soumya says:

    I read about this yesterday and was so happy! Women like this should be applauded for their spirit. We can all learn something from them.
    Soumya recently posted…R: Rebecca – Book Review #AToZChallengeMy Profile

  8. Denise says:

    When I was in high school, girls were only allowed to play half-court basketball. Full court would have been too strenuous. This was the early 60’s.

  9. I have seen many husbands run by their wives’ side during Pinkathon. Love the spirit of women.

  10. I need to thank Katherine, as I run Marathons without giving my participation a thought! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story, Parul!:)

  11. She is a shining example for everyone who has doubts about accomplishing their goals. Most of us will never be forced out of our own personal race toward our goals by anyone other than ourselves. With such role models as Katherine, hope is not so easily extinguished.

  12. Only the other day I’d read about this on someone’s Facebook. What an amazing lady, the picture of the man running after her to take her bib was certainly not a good image, but as you said, she persisted.

  13. Shilpa Garg says:

    Ah! The prejudices women have been facing!! Hats of to Katherine Switzer for believing in herself and did what she really wanted to do. Thanks for sharing an inspiring story!

  14. Kalpanaa says:

    What a fabulous story. I didn’t know this. She played a very important part in women’s equality.

  15. I first came across this video of Katherine Switzer when I was reading about suffragette movement a few years back. It was shocking to me but more uplifting considering the changes that have been made. Of course, there is still a lot more to do … Recently read about her re-running it made me happy!
    It is such a wonderful post you have here today 🙂
    Thanks for sharing
    Best Wishes!

  16. Bellybytes says:

    Ah Parul. I’m sure one day you’ll be running the Boston Marathon too! I watch the Mumbai Marathoners run by each year and while I admire their determination and dedication, I wonder what is the point in all this torture to one’s body? Some of the runners look ready to die….

  17. Obsessivemom says:

    My Brother in law is a marathoner and it is such a coincidence we were talking about the Boston marathon and this lady just this evening. Did you know she ran this year’s marathon? What a sweet victory for her. Very often we say ‘If you don’t like the rules, don’t play’ but someone has to fight to change the rules, right? I loved Katharine’s spirit.
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