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The 6% with NancyMD

Jan 10, 2022

Episode Overview:

Pictures are worth so much more than a thousand words-- in my guest’s case, her one photo sparked a revolution and laid the tracks for millions of women around the globe, and completely flipped the running industry on its head.

This week, I’m honored to be joined by marathon legend Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially complete the Boston Marathon in 1967. During a time when myths about women and their biology were rampant, her formal entry into the marathon was proof that women were more than capable of keeping up and smashing barriers in sports.

Kathrine Switzer is a sports and social advocate, with her photo at the Boston Marathon featured as one of Time’s “100 Photos that Changed the World”. Through her many social campaigns, Kathrine has truly made our society a much more accepting one, empowering women to come together and accomplish so much more than what was previously allowed.

In a world where women still have to negotiate for their space, it’s stories like Kathrine’s that really highlight just how far we’ve come - and why it’s so important to acknowledge that all our actions can start seemingly as small as a ripple.


Episode Highlights:

  • Kathrine’s origin story
  • Recounting the events of the Boston Marathon
  • The cultural and global impact of Kathrine that led her to become an activist
  • How she deals with the weight of responsibility and negative reception
  • The reception from fellow women and the importance of solidarity
  • Her relationship with lipstick as a symbol of empowerment
  • What’s next in store for her
  • Her advice for women in male-dominated fields


About the Guest:

Iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author, and Emmy award-winning television commentator. Kathrine Switzer is famous for breaking gender barriers by being the first registered woman to run in the Boston Marathon in 1967 when it was considered a men’s only race. 

Her entry revolutionized the sports world when the race director attempted to remove her for wearing official bib numbers forcibly. The photo of this incident spread throughout the globe and became one of Time-Life’s “100 Photos that Changed the World.” The race served as a huge turning point for her and began her multifaceted career intending to empower and create more opportunities for women. 

Thanks to her campaigning, women were officially allowed to register in the Boston Marathon in 1972. 

Some of Kathrine’s multiple accomplishments include founding the Avon’s Running Global Women’s Circuit and 261 Fearless, author of books such as Running and Walking for Women Over 40 and Marathon Woman, being inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in October 2011 for positive global social change, being an Emmy Award-winning television commentator who has done broadcast work for ABC, CBS, NBC, and ESPN. 

Kathrine has run 39 marathons and was the winner of the 1974 New York City Marathon. She still runs today and has long solidified herself as a historic figure in the sport of running. She revolutionized the sport for women across the globe and continues to pave the way for them.


Connect with Kathrine:


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