I witnessed a moment in history this weekend. It made me think about a similar parallel in the race world. I think we are all better off that both occurred.
It was 1967…
“K.V. Switzer” stepped up to the starting line, donning bib number 261, and proceeded to start one of the world’s most well-known running events. But, there was something a little different about this annual gathering 35 years ago.
For 70 years preceding that particular race, stemming back to its inception in 1897 – making it the second-longest continuously running race in North America – the Boston Marathon was a men’s-only competition. Women were forbidden from officially entering the event until 1972.
Fast forward to 2012…
I was driving north on 4th Ave in Downtown Seattle this weekend. I came to a stoplight and noticed to my right a crowded of people lining each side of the staircase ascending down from Seattle City Hall. There were lights shining up the corridor and a local news camera crew stood at the base of the steps. A couple, both men, walked steadily down the stairs hand-in-hand – their faces smiling wildly. They had just gotten married and, under the recently-passed marriage equality laws in our State of Washington, they were allowed the right to do so.
I couldn’t help but think about that story I’d read about the 1967 Boston Marathon. “K.V. Switzer” turned out to be Katherine Switzer, the first woman to run the full Boston Marathon as an official entrant. She was forbidden at the time. Race official Jock Semple physically attempted to stop her from continuing on once word spread that she was in it. She finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes. The picture below made worldwide news.
Today, the Boston Marathon plays host to 43% of its 25,000+ annual entrants as women runners. Nationally, women account for 55% of the 14 million race finishers per year.
Whether are you are male or female, gay or straight, black or white, young or old, fast or slow…
We are creating a community where everyone is an athlete and everyone is a contributor. Gametiime will be a place open to any and all to enjoy the universal language of sports. We look forward to providing this: a culture of inclusion.
Join Gametiime free and discover your next race!