She was the first official female finisher of the Boston Marathon.
While she was in Lynchburg, Va. for the Genworth Virginia 10-Miler, Katherine Switzer, who ran the 1967 edition of the Boston Marathon as the first official female finisher, stopped to talk to a group of 150 young runners from Girls on the Run of Central Virginia.
“If you remember anything from tonight, remember that you really can do anything,” she told the News & Advance. “Sometimes, I can run forever. The more you do, the more you can do.”
Switzer became famous at Boston when she registered under the gender-neutral “K.V. Switzer” in a time before women were allowed to run there. In that same race, Bobbi Gibb, who ran unregistered, finished ahead of her by nearly an hour.
“I would never have had the courage [to run the marathon] if I hadn’t been like you are now, learning to run,” Switzer said. ““I was really little, really skinny and really nervous.”
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