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Katrin Schwitzer. She could be prevented, and the revolution in running would not have happened
Marathon is a 42.195 kilometer run. Now a lot of people take part in the race: of all ages from young to old, and, of course, there is no gender division. Women, along with men, go the distance to overcome themselves, their fears and demonstrate physical fitness. For example, more than a thousand women took part in the Moscow marathon last year, and about 6.5 thousand ran 10 kilometers. But this was not always the case. Women faced oppression even in the middle of the 20th century! Today we will tell the story of the incredible Katrin Schwitzer, a German woman who has managed to motivate many runners and defend the rights of women.
Boston Marathon is one of the oldest and most famous marathons in the world. Its history began in 1897 and continues to this day. The marathon is held annually in Boston, however, world records are not recorded on it due to differences in the height of the distance.
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1967. A young student at Syracuse University, Catherine Schwitzer, went jogging for the first time with her boyfriend Tom Miller. The young man was not sure that his companion would be interested in training, but everything turned out differently. Katrin has shown incredible stamina. According to the girl, she started jogging in order to become stronger, but at the same time prove that it is possible to remain feminine, not to depend on stereotypes. The couple trained together long and hard. Once, having run 26 miles, Katrin realized that she was able to cope with the main task - to become the first woman participating in the Boston Marathon to reach the end. We remind you that this is 1967. Women do not have official permission to take part in the race yet.
Legendary number 261: who tried to stop the marathon?
But Katrin was unstoppable. She registered for participation under the name K.V. Schwitzer. It is difficult to understand who it is - a man or a woman. Perhaps a clever move, or perhaps just a coincidence. At least, the athlete herself claims that she signed so everywhere, even indicating the authorship in the university newspaper. It was numbered 261.
First a mile of distance Schwitzer was stopped by one of the organizers - Jock Semple. He was very rude to the athlete, trying to force her out of the marathon. And this despite the fact that the rules of the Boston Marathon did not contain any instructions about the gender of the participants! Semple was stopped by Katrin's boyfriend.
Of course, the girl was strongI was shocked by what happened, but did not give up. As she ran, she thought about what was right. After all, every woman can do what she loves, especially since a lot of effort has been invested in this business. So, with the help of perseverance, faith in herself and her strength, Katrin Schwitzer became the first woman to officially complete the Boston Marathon. The story caused a public response and generated a wide response.
Women could be permanently deprived of the right to participate in competitions
For example, the Amateur Athletic Union finally banned the participation of women in men's competitions. The punishment for disobedience was severe - the participants could forever lose the right to compete. Only in 1972, Catherine achieved her goal - the Boston Athletic Association allowed women to take part in the marathon. It became a real sensation in the world of sports! 12 thousand marathon women from that moment began to officially do what they loved.
Separately, I would like to note that the offender Catherine Jock Semple later became her friend. In 1973, at the first marathon officially allowed for women, he kissed her on the cheek in front of many TV cameras and said: Come on, baby, give them some glory!
Repeat the marathon after 50 years
Katrin Schwitzer is an example of incredible tenacity and inner fortitude. The woman connected her life with sports. She competed in the New York City Marathon in 1974 and won first place among women there. 40 years after her first Boston Marathon, she published her memoir Marathon and won the Billy Prize for it.
Catherine is now 71, but despite for age, she continues to play sports, inspires women around the world. At 70, the athlete again took part in the Boston Marathon. She ran only 20 minutes slower, despite a difference of 50 years.
The 1967 Boston Marathon and Katrin Schwitzer's participation in it became a landmark event in the world of women's sports. More than 50 years have passed since then, and the policy regarding women's sports has changed radically. Now each representative of the weaker sex can demonstrate her strength and endurance, motivate others, because it's never too late to start leading a healthy lifestyle!