Syracuse Grad Kathrine Switzer, Boston Marathon Pioneer

Bryan Bedder - Getty Images

In 1966, Syracuse's Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon, with a little help from Syracuse's hammer-tosser.

Very cool article in the Washington Post today about Syracuse Orange grad Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to formally complete the Boston Marathon and the driving force behind making the women's marathon an Olympic event.

Switzer transferred to Syracuse in 1966 and although there was no women's track team at the time, she trained with the men's team. It was there that assistant track coach Arnie Briggs told her "A woman can’t [run the Boston Marathon] No dame’s ever run a marathon. Women are too weak and too fragile," though he also told her that ‘If any woman could do it, you could do it.’"

She finally ran the race and famously was attacked by race director Jock Semple, if you can believe it. Semple, who did not realize a woman had signed up for the race, jumped on her back and told her to "get the hell out of my race."

Unfortunately for Semple, Switzer was running with her boyfriend, Syracuse hammer thrower Tom Miller. And honestly, you just have to look at the picture of what happened to see how awesome it is.

She finished the race in 4:20 and would eventually get that down to a 2:51 in 1975.

Go check out the whole article and check out her book, Marathon Woman, for learn more about her story.

H/T: SilverSpringOrange

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