News & Politics

Switzer Is ‘261’ And Fearless In Boston

Switzer, left at Boston marathon starting line in Hopkinton, Mass, accompanied by Rosy Sprager, a 261 Fearless team member.
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As it’s been chronicled so thoroughly this week, Switzer signed up for the 1967 Boston Marathon as K.V. Switzer at a time female participants were not welcome to run. When race director Jock Semple caught wind of the fact he’d overlooked the entry from the first woman to ever “successfully” register for the grueling road race.

When old Jock saw the woman in full stride, he hopped off a press bus and accosted her, attempting to rip off her race bib No. 261.

A few of the male runners alongside Switzer, including her big, burly then-boyfriend, former Syracuse All-American football and track man “Big Tom” Miller body-blocked the angry race official as he was shouting at Switzer.

The rest is history, as they say, but it’s a history that Switzer prefers to project to the present and the short and longterm future.

She settled into a conference room at the hotel and calmly opened her bag, itself a rolling office and work station, all week, for her 261 Fearless organization.

She casually opened an old plastic shopping bag and out came original copies of the newspapers of Thursday, April 20th, 1967, the day after the race and carefully laid-out the Boston Globe and Record-American, among a few others, the edges frayed and yellowing.

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