Monday, June 25, 2012

Setting the Pace for Women

I found this inspiring article about Kathrine Switzer, who was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967.  She did it by entering with only her initials because women were not allowed to enter the race.  It's amazing to think about the changes that have been made in women's sports in the last 50 years.  I was born in 1978 not realizing how groundbreaking some women's accomplishments were considering recent history.  It was just in 1972 that women were finally allowed to enter the Boston Marathon.  I am so grateful to all the women before me who saw past the limits that had been put on women, and took a stand for women's rights, because I grew up believing that I could do anything I wanted to do.  I never had the impression that certain things weren't possible for me as a woman, even though this wasn't always the case.  Even today we are still dealing with disparages in equality between genders such as equal compensation in the workplace; I am so inspired by the strong women who are the catalyst for change to gender equality.  Watch this video of Kathrine Switzer--you will be amazed by someone who tried to stop her mid-race, and inspired by those who kept her going, including herself!

June 23rd marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX -- the law that made all educational programs and activities available to both genders. The law has provided countless opportunities for women and girls in sports.
One outspoken athlete, Kathrine Switzer, has paved the way for women in sports across the country. In 1967, Switzer disguised her gender by entering the all-male Boston Marathon using her initials, making her the first woman to enter the race. While some runners were excited to see Switzer participate, one race director tried to take Switzer's numbers off her chest and throw her out of the race.
It was then that Switzer came to a realization: "If I don't finish this race, then everybody's gonna believe women can't do it and that they don't deserve to be here and that they're incapable," Switzer told AOL. "I've got to finish this race."
How long did it take Switzer to complete the race that not only changed her life, but impacted sports for women across the country? Four hours and 20 minutes. Watch the above video for more of Switzer's account of the Boston Marathon.