Kathrine Switzer

“People always ask me, what has running given you? And I say, it’s given me my career and my job and my husband, the great love of my life. And it has given me friends and family and my religion. But most of all, it’s given me, me. It’s given me myself. I get in touch with myself.”

– Kathrine Switzer, episode 218 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso

Kathrine Switzer made history in 1967 when she became the first woman to register and run in the Boston Marathon. She was 20 years old. Today, at age 74, she shares the story behind the story: the months leading up to her historic run as a student at Syracuse University (2:12), the coach that believed in her (4:34), and the night she decided to enter the race (6:00). We also walk through the madness of April 19th, 1967 (13:44), her efforts to ensure women’s marathons be included in the Olympics (24:13), the prejudice that remains against female athletes (28:22), and how she grapples with difficulty as a self-proclaimed optimist (36:42). Then, before we go, Kathrine shares the happiest day of her life with us (40:00).

Show notes:

Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.