That Was Then
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer registered and received a bib number for the famed Boston Marathon using only her initials, K.V. and last name, and during the race, official Jock Semple infamously tried to shove her off the course. The worldwide story led to an outcry for gender equity and pushed decision-makers for official inclusion of women in organized races. As gender and culture roles evolved in the U.S. from 1960-80, long distance running became part of this larger revolution.
In April, the Boston Marathon honored the women’s class of 1972, which included nine runners who were “officially” entered to run in the Boston Marathon.
This is #Runnovation
Since those nine entries and groundbreaking Title IX legislation that was passed on June 23, 1972, women’s participation in long-distance events has grown and later boomed, with female runners now accounting for more than 53% of event finishers nationwide compared to less than 20% of finishers during the 1970s First Running Boom. For the 2012 Boston Marathon, 42% of the entrants were women (11,152 out of 26,656).
Source: Running USA