50 years later, 1st woman to run Boston Marathon returns to race

Kathryn Switzer, the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon, returned to the course 50 years after she made history - finishing in 2017 with a time of 4:44:31.

Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui, running his first Boston Marathon, displayed the patience and savvy of a seasoned veteran, pulling away from American Galen Rupp, himself running just his third marathon and first Boston, to record a 21-second, 2:09:37 victory. After all, another woman, Roberta Bingay Gibb, had completed the Boston Marathon in 1966 without a bib.

American Jordan Hasay set a record for an American women's debut marathon, coming in third in 2:23:00. Although there were no rules officially barring women from racing, Semple approached her shortly after she left Hopkinton and shouted "get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers".

Kathrine Switzer's marathon in 1967 became historic because she was the first woman to complete the all-male race as an official entrant - her registration as "K.V. Switzer" hid her gender.

Ms Switzer's determination to finish the race won her plaudits and paved the way to equality for women in running.

"No dame ever ran the Boston Marathon!" coach Arnie Briggs told her, according to her memoir, "Marathon Woman".

She finished the race in four hours and 20 minutes, but would later be disqualified and expelled from the Amateur Athletic Union. "I'm humbled to win the race". "He put in several surges I was able to cover, but at the end he was just too strong". She won the New York City Marathon in 1974 in a moment that was captured by legendary photographer Ruth Orkin. Fellow Swiss Manuela Schar shattered the women's mark by more than five minutes, winning in 1:28:17.

Also in the field was Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, who ran for the 18th time in 2013 but has skipped the races since the bombings so he could be available in case of another emergency. The Boston Marathon will retire number 261 in Switzer's honor. "I was feeling good, my training was good, but I knew I would be facing my colleagues who had run many times at Boston", said Kirui.

"I think the sport has changed", said Rupp.

  • Larry Hoffman