261

Monday, April 24th, 2017

In 1967, when the Boston Marathon was only open to men, Kathrine Switzer registered for it under the name “K.V. Switzer”. Despite a now-infamous attempt by race organizer Jock Semple to pull her out of the race, Switzer finished her run and became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race bib, numbered 261.1 Her actions that day, and for years to follow, paved the way for women in both running and athletics in general.2


Jock Semple accosting Kathrine Switzer mid-race in 1967
[Photo credit: Boston Herald via Runner’s World]

This year, Switzer returned to Boston to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of her first run. The race has grown by almost two orders of magnitude since 1967, and it now includes not just a women’s division, a push rim wheelchair division, a visually impaired/blind division, and a mobility impaired program. Switzer helped lead the way for all of this. She’s now 70 years old, but in addition to throwing out the first pitch for the Red Sox game on Sunday and signaling the start of the women’s elite race on Monday, she also found time to actually run the marathon again.

She did so while again wearing her very first number: 261.


Switzer completing the 2017 Boston Marathon
[Photo credit: Elise Amendola/AP via Boston Globe]

That number will now be retired. No one else will ever wear number 261 in the Boston Marathon, and that’s just right.


Footnotes:

  1. A year earlier, Bobbi Gibb ran the Boston Marathon unofficially, marking her as the first woman to complete the race. She should certainly not be overlooked. In fact, Gibb is a three-time champion, with the Boston Athletic Association retroactively honoring her as the women’s race winner for the years 1966, 1967, and 1968. Let there be no doubt that Bobbi Gibb kicks ass too.↩︎

  2. This post might just as easily be called “Kathrine Switzer Kicks Ass”, to make it clear that it’s part of that illustrious collection. ↩︎

Exit Maze 

Friday, April 21st, 2017

A new rule in India requires bars to be at least 500 meters away from the highway. What’s a bar that’s too close to the road to do? Why, build a maze, of course.

Tennis Interruptus 

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Tennis matches are sometimes held for noise, and the crowd generally quiets down. Earlier this week, one couple in Sarasota did not.

Locked in a Tower of Her Own Volition 

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

Kate Imbach has taken an in-depth look at the photography of Melania Trump, and it’s quite well done. The psychological conclusions are of course incredibly speculative, but they certainly ring true.

Melania posted 57 photos from inside cars. I first assumed she took the 15 Central Park photos that she posted on foot, from inside the park, meaning that she was going out for a walk among the masses every once in a while.

Nope. When you look closely, you can see that tree branches are blurred with the motion of a car, the raindrops are not falling but stuck to a window, and the sunlight is refracted. Her idea of a walk in the park is a drive.

Why in the World Was This Ever Allowed? 

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

United Airlines will no longer allow employees to take the place of passengers who’ve already boarded a flight. The fact that this was ever permissible remains absurd.

Prior Run-In 

Monday, April 17th, 2017

What happened was unfortunate, but this man was no saint.

Takes the Top Prize Any Other Week 

Friday, April 14th, 2017

While flying from Houston to Calgary, passenger Richard Bell had the second worst United flight of the week.

Pay More, Get Less 

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

If there was any question as to who the Tennessee state legislature really works for, this story seems to make it pretty clear.

“Tennessee will literally be paying AT&T to provide a service 1000 times slower than what Chattanooga could provide without subsidies.”

Hear It Our Way 

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Speaking of fast food chains doing weird things, a new Burger King ad is abusing people who have Google devices set up to do automatic voice recognition.

Kentucky Fried Compact Discs 

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

In Indonesia, CDs are still riding high, and KFC is the place to get them.