First female Boston Marathon runner does it again 50 years later

After this race, no one else will wear the bib number 261, as it was retired this year.

The Boston Marathon was no exception, but in 1967 young Kathrine Switzer was a keen runner and wanted to take part - despite her coach telling her a marathon was too far for a "fragile woman".

Despite an official trying to drag her from the course, she managed to complete the race and her bib number, 261, became famous.

Kathrine Switzer, the first official woman entrant in the Boston Marathon 50 years ago, reacts at a news conference, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in Boston, where her bib No. 261 was retired in her honor by the Boston Athletic As.

She even took to Facebook Live to document the moment she passed "the place where Jock Semple tried to pull of my bib number".

On Monday, wearing the very same number which she had nearly had torn off her jumper five decades earlier, Ms Switzer completed the race in four hours, 44 minutes and 31 seconds in her "full regalia" - "the bib plus the eye liner, mascara and lipstick".

"My goal is to reach women in places right now where they're not allowed to leave the house alone, drive a auto or get an education, " Switzer said last week, according to WBZ.

The Boston Athletic Association says that 61 of the runners who entered the race were visually impaired, including Stephanie Zundel, a 22-year-old blind woman who finished the race in just over five hours.

Fifty years later, she was awarded the honour of firing the gun for the women's race.

In the women's competition, runners to watch include Kenya's Gladys Cherono, who won the 2015 Berlin Marathon, and Edna Kiplagat, who finished second in Chicago a year ago.

Switzer was given a number for the men's-only race in 1967 only because she used her initials - "K.V." - when she filled out her entry forms.

But on Monday when she ran the stretch of road where the incident happened, it turned out to be about a mile from the starting line. "It became the best thing in my life", she said Tuesday.

That year, another woman tried to race the marathon by jumping out of a bush, but Switzer was the only one to be officially registered.

In all, 26,411 people finished the race on Monday - 97 percent of those who started - including 11,973 women.

"I wasn't there to prove anything", she said.

"He put in several surges and I was able to cover a few of them", Rupp told reporters after the race.

Women were finally officially allowed to enter the Boston Marathon in 1972.

A total of four Severna Park residents ran in the marathon. The women's marathon was added to the Summer Games in 1984. "And it does, because from it I have created the 261 Fearless Foundation and there are 125 people running with me today to raise money to empower women globally through running".

  • Julie Sanders