A word of advice from Kathrine Switzer
A special guest of the 2013 Medibank Melbourne Marathon Festival, Kathrine Switzer is an inspiring distance runner and a fearless competitor.
An active campaigner for gender equality in sport, Kathrine completed the 1967 Boston marathon, then an all-male event, despite a racing official trying to force her off the course during her run.
Here she imparts some seasoned wisdom about training, transformation and empowerment to fellow runners.
How many marathons have you completed and what keeps you running?
39 marathons. Running makes me feel empowered, creative and very determined to do more.
In your opinion, how does completing a marathon change your life?
The process transforms you as running empowers you, it gives you self esteem, confidence and fearlessness. After you finish a marathon you know there isn’t anything in life you can’t do.
What training advice do you have for people looking to complete their first marathon?
If possible, have a training plan, a buddy and work with a group so you know what to do week by week. Join a club, work with a charity group or get a good schedule online. Even ask at your local running shoe store. Make sure you get in at least two 35km runs before you head to the start line.
Three fast facts about Kathrine Switzer
1. 261 was Kathrine’s bib number in the famous Boston marathon and has come to mean ‘fearless’ among women.
2. Kathrine’s 1974 New York marathon margin of victory – 27 minutes – still remains the biggest in the marathon’s history.
3. In 2011 Kathrine was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in the United States.