While leading a group of 13 dedicated runners from Team 261 Fearless through the five boroughs of New York, women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer completed the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon today, posting another amazing milestone in her legendary long-distance running career by running the NYC Marathon and this past April’s Boston Marathon in her fifth decade of competitive running. At the age of 70, she ran a time of 4:48.
About Kathrine Switzer
An iconic athlete, author, and advocate for sports and social causes, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and then run the Boston Marathon. Switzer has been honored for her achievements, most recently for running the Boston Marathon on the 50th anniversary of her historic run in 1967 and for her induction to the USA National Women’s Hall of Fame which recognized her for creating positive social change throughout her storied career. The ramifications of this work is both joyful and profound, changing forever the face of sports, health, creating opportunities for women around the world by fearlessly empowering millions beyond the finish line, and it is all activated through the recently launched non-profit 261 Fearless, so aptly named after her bib number in Boston back in 1967.
Switzer started the race by crossing the famed Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn with a group of 13 charity runners representing the 261 Fearless organization, including 10 American women from seven states, and one each from Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland. Together these women raised $55,000 to help fund educational programs to train women to become 261 Coaches and form 261 Fearless running Clubs around the world. Their efforts were supported by adidas and Bose, the global sponsors for 261 Fearless.
Since becoming the first woman to officially enter and finish the Boston Marathon in 1967 and then going on to win the New York City Marathon in 1974, Switzer pioneered an era of participation by women in all sports, not just running, and her story has inspired a generation of women athletes. Switzer recently launched the non-profit, 261 Fearless, with the mission to use running as a vehicle to empower and unite women globally through the creation of clubs, education opportunities, a new communication platform and special events.
“It’s been 43 years since I ran my first New York City Marathon,” said Switzer. “It’s been an absolute honour to run through the five boroughs alongside 13 women from six countries representing 261 Fearless. I am so grateful to the New York Road Runners for their support in creating this fantastic day.”
Caryn Kelly of Edina, Minnesota was one of the 13 runners. Today was her ninth marathon.
“What an amazing experience! I ran my first marathon with my husband at the age of 40,” said Kelly. “I cannot thank Kathrine Switzer enough for the opportunity to help women around the world experience the sense of accomplishment I’ve felt through running.”
About 261 Fearless
The mission of 261 Fearless is to unite women through a global running network, creating a supportive community, while allowing fearless women to “pass forward” a new strength gained from running to women who are facing challenges, sparking a revolution of empowerment. “261” is the symbol that unites women as empowered runners. Women of all abilities, cultures and social backgrounds are welcome to participate. For more information, please visit http://www.261fearless.