Kathrine Switzer was a pioneer for women's distance running.
Born in 1947, Switzer received her BA and MS from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications (1968). In 1967 she was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon wearing an official race number (attempts by race officials to physically remove her from the race were thwarted by her supporters). Soon after that, she created and served as director of the Avon Running Program, a 26 race, 16 country circuit for women's 10K runs and 5K walks. In 1974, she won the New York City Marathon, and her work with Avon in the early 1980s strongly influenced Olympic officials in their decision to include the women's marathon event in the 1984 Olympic Games. In 1986, Switzer formed her own company, AtAlanta Sports Promotion, Inc. She has worked as a broadcast journalist, fitness expert, writer and public speaker, and as a sports commentator for ABC, NBC, CBS, Turner Sports Broadcasting, the Olympic Games and the Goodwill Games. Switzer has competed in 35 Marathons and in 1975 was ranked sixth in the world and third in the U.S.
She has written two books and is currently (2006) at work on an autobiography. She has received numerous citations and awards for her efforts in advancing sports opportunities for women, including a New York States Regents Medal of Excellence (1985) and Female Runner of the Decade by Runner's World Magazine. She was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1998.
From the guide to the Kathrine Switzer Papers, ##, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)