Updated: May 4, 2021
April 19 is a date close to our hearts, for more than one reason.
First of all, it's MUDGIRL's birthday! We have been organizing this fun and 100% feminine obstacle runs with lot passion for 4 years now.
Second, it's the celebration of a symbolic day: April 19, 1967, the date of an event that changed the world's view of women's involvement in sports.
Let's take a moment to look at this picture.
Wednesday, April 19, 1967, Boston Marathon.
At that time of an extremely sexist society, women were not allowed to run more than 800m (Olympic events limits) under the pretext that they were "too fragile" in nature. Some legends say that beyond 900m of running, they could lose their hair and grow testicles : medieval beliefs related to obscurantism? Not at all, it was 52 years ago! On this day, a woman, bib 261, took off and 42,195 m later, 3h20 later, she still had her hair and she shined. She received the right to run under the name K.V Switzer. "K" like Kevin, Karim, Ken, but Kathrine? You had to ask the organizers to have too much imagination for it to be a woman's name! In this picture we see a hateful little man, Jock Semple, one of the organizers of the marathon: the abomination of what a woman participating, Kathrine Switzer, represented in his eyes, pushed him to run a few meters in order to stop her. Another man stands between them, Arnie Briggs, Kathrine's coach.
What's going on, Jock? Does it feel weird to see a woman more athletic than you? This shot shows that Kathrine is outperforming you: she ran faster than you! Have you no shame Jock?
"Run like never before" - Arnie Briggs on April 19, 1967, a great man
"Get out of my race and give me back this number" - Jock Semple on April 19, 1967, a little man
Too late, nothing will be the same as it was before Jock!
The marathon runners then seem amazed by the scene and Kathrine, with her eyes down, her hair in the wind, looks like a madonna, yes, a madonna who gave women the right to run and who changed the course of history. At the age of 20, then a journalism student, Kathrine Switzer became an icon.
After the publication of this photo, Jock Semple was defeated and finally allowed women to run in the Boston Marathon in 1972. Kathrine then won the New York Marathon in 1974. In 1977, she created an all-female marathon. She also campaigned for the entry of a women's marathon into the Olympic Games. In 2017, she ran the New York Marathon, at 70 years old.
Thank you Kathrine!
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