Women and The Boston Marathon!

Hey Guys! Happy Thursday to you all! Today is my last day of work before race weekend and I’m hoping it goes by quickly! I’m beyond excited for the weekend’s festivities and for my family to come into town.  Hard to believe there’s only 4 days left in the count down.  Tonight’s my last speed workout before the marathon.  A few 800m repeats with an easy warm up and cool down.  These workouts always make me feel really good!

While I am very excited to be running the marathon it’s not really my fundraising efforts or the months of training that have made it possible.  It’s really these two women, Roberta Gibb and Katherine Switzer who made this possible for me.  These two women were the first women to run the Boston Marathon!  Roberta Gibb first ran the marathon as a bandit in 1966.  She had 3 kids and her husband was her coach and biggest supporter, how cool is that?  Then in 1967 Katherine Switzer ran the marathon.  She was a 20-year-old college student at Syracuse University.  She registered for the marathon under the name K.V. Switzer and was able to obtain a bib number. The race director tried to forcibly remove her from the course when he found out she was a woman but she fought on and finished that marathon!

Katherine Switzer and two others, Nina Kuscsik and Sara Rae Berman lobbied the Amateur Athletic Union, the governing body of the time, to allow women to run the Boston Marathon.  In 1972 they were officially allowed to run the marathon.  They were required to meet the qualifying time of 3:30 which is what the men’s qualifying time was.  They also were required to start at a separate start line.  Nina Kuscsik won the marathon that year with a time of 3:10.26.  This year mark’s the 40th anniversary for women in the Boston Marathon.

I love stories like this.  Women are incredible and it’s amazing that thanks to these women thousands of women will line up in Hopkinton, MA on Monday morning.  I’m excited to be apart of it.  I know I will definitely think of Katherine Switzer when I’m out there and having a tough mile or two.  If she can fight a race director and finish, we can all complete the marathon with a smile on our face!  I’m so happy that these women made running a sport that I can enjoy and compete in.  And because of them I’m able to blog about running and races and interact with other amazing women runners every day.

All of these women will be the official starters of the women’s race on Monday in honor of the 40th Anniversary!  There will be many other events honoring these women like the Champions’ breakfast, the expo and events put on by the local news channels.  They deserve every second of these celebrations and I hope they enjoy them!

Women in the Boston Marathon!

It only seems fitting that Joan Samuelson would be joining the women runners and taking part in the marathon this year! Joan is a two-time Boston Marathon winner and won gold in the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon.  She ran last year with her daughter and I’m excited that she is running again!

And lastly, in case you were wondering what a Saturday morning practice with Team in Training looks like and what we are all about or just want to see how I run, check out this video on NECN.com! I’m so happy to be part of it and promoting a The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!  I’m still fundraising and the team is trying to reach the 1 million dollar mark! If you’d like to support the cause and my efforts, please visit my fundraising page!

(just a screen shot, you have to click-through to watch!)


Sources for this post include Runner’s World’s article “2012: An Anniversary Year for Women in Boston” and CBS Boston’s article “How Two Women Changed Boston Marathon History.”

How has running empowered you as a woman?  What female runner inspires you the most?  Whose the woman runner’s your cheering on during the Boston Marathon?


9 thoughts on “Women and The Boston Marathon!

  1. Pavement Runner (@PavementRunner) says:

    I am truly in awe of not just all elite runners, but the women specifically who return after having a child. They come back so quickly and pick up right where they left off. My wife and I just had a baby 6 months ago and I was able to see the amount of time it takes to simply recover, let alone get in shape to win a marathon. Simply amazing and inspiring. Great share (and good luck!)


  2. runningfarce says:

    Wow – this is a really interesting story – I didn’t know any of this! Good luck this weekend in Boston – I recommend not eating any of that delicious looking french toast before the race!


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