What a difference 50 years can make…. Est. 261!
Social Change

What a difference 50 years can make…. Est. 261!

Women’s Sports Media were delighted to learn that Katherine Switzer has again today completed the Boston Marathon in a time of 04:44:31, just 25 minutes slower than the her poignant participation when she entered the males only race in 1967.

Today’s marathon was run under a very different social tone, one of support and admiration, with adoring fans cheering Katherine on - unlike the  dark cloud of segregation and discrimination against women in sport. Best of all, Katherine donned the poignant 261 number bib as she did half a century ago, a number that has represented so much to women and budding female athletes all over the world ever since.

Katherine Switzer being hassled by protestors in 1967

Switzer told CNN that running in the two races 50 years apart was “like night and day”. On having heard her name called out by supporters, she said: “I’ve got to tell you it was one of the most gratifying emotional experiences I’ve ever had [...] it was a wonderful moment.”

In a real show of solidarity and unity of women in sport, not only did Katherine fire the starting gun for the women’s elite runner race, but as a mark of respect the race organisers have officially retired the number 261 in honour of Katherine’s commitment to shatter the status quo and champion equality in women in sport ever since.

We for one salut you Katherine, and thank you for your dedication to inclusivity of sport across all genders, but most especially women, for the last 50 years!

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