April 17, 2017 - mh9868a
Commonplace 13: The Boston Marathon
The Boston Marathon is a big deal in my family. My dad has attended every year for twenty years. He always stands outside of Marathon Sports, his favorite store, and watches runners cross the finish line. (The only year in twenty years his boss would not let him go was 2013, thank God.) He used to take my twin sister and I with him, but my mom got sick of us missing school so he stopped taking us in elementary school. However, that didn’t stop my dad from annually telling his daughters the story of Kathrine Switzer who is a New England feminist icon.
In 1967, a brave woman named Kathrine Switzer illegally ran the Boston Marathon. Back then women were not allowed to run the race, but she had trained for it and was determined to compete. So, she registered using just her initials so nobody would know she was a woman. Officials found out while she was running, and physically tried to stop her. She maneuvered around them and kept running. This year she ran the marathon again wearing the same bib she wore fifty years ago. Even today she continues to be an icon for Boston women and for runners everywhere.