261 cheers for No. 261: Marathoner Switzer revolutionized running for women

By Betty Bayer special to the Finger Lakes Times

There are likely more than 261 ways to recognize and say thanks to Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to register and run in the Boston Marathon in 1967.

Her bib number 261 will long reign as a sign of revolutionizing the world of running and sports for women. On crossing the finish line of that renowned 26-mile and 385-yard run, Switzer says she knew then she would devote her life to women and running. At age 70, she celebrated a repeat run of the Boston Marathon crossing the finish line very near to her original time. Over those 50 intervening years she has paved many a marathon-length road to freedom for women in sports and immeasurable miles of inspiration. Mention Switzer’s name to a coach, athlete or runner (of any age) and be ready for the onrush of heartfelt accounts of the revolutionary power of running.

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