Kathrine Switzer to take part in the 2018 London Marathon

World famous female marathon runner, Kathrine Switzer to run in London Marathon

As reported in Runners World UK, Katherine Switzer, the first female marathon runner to officially complete Boston Marathon, will be joining other runners in the London Marathon, on 22 April this year. She will be wearing bib number 261.

In 1967 women were not allowed to enter the Boston Marathon. There was widespread opinion (among the athletics decision-makers) that women were too weak to run 26.2 miles. Even Switzer's coach said that it would be too much for a "fragile woman". Undeterred, she applied anyway, using the gender neutral name "K. V. Switzer". This was the name she typically used as her signature.

Many remember the 1967 race best for the clash beteen Switzer and race official Jock Semple. Semple reached for Switzer's bib, attempting to grab it and remove her from the race. However, Switzer's boyfriend, Tom Miller, a 235-pound ex-American football player and nationally ranked hammer thrower who was running with her, had other plans. He swiftly pushed Semple aside allowing Switzer to proceed. Unsurprisingly, the exchange was big news!

Switzer sucessfully finished the marathon, clocking a time of four hours and twenty minutes. Despite Switzer's achievement, and that of unregistered female runners such as Bobbi Gibb, who finished the same race an hour ahead of Switzer, it was another five years before women were officially allowed to compete in the Boston Marathon.

Switzer will be running the London Marathon this April for the first time. The occasion coincides with the celebrations taking place in the UK throughout the year, celebrating 100 years since the women's suffrage movement helped women secure the right to vote.