BOSTON – Long-distance running legend and women’s sports activist Kathrine Switzer will be recognized for her pioneering efforts in running and her career-long contributions to sport through her work as an advocate for women’s sports and healthy living.
On September 7, Switzer will be honored as part of the festivities at the Great North Run in Newcastle. Switzer will act as an official race starter for the women’s half marathon and she — and her famous 261 Boston Marathon bib number — will take part in the 100th anniversary celebration of women’s suffrage in the U.K., all part of the Great North Star event event to mark the closing weekend of Great Exhibition of the North. A cast of 100 will take part in an emotional ceremony alongside female sporting legends Paula Radcliffe, Tanni Grey Thompson, Rosa Mota, and Switzer. The performance will be created for broadcast as part of BBC One’s weekend coverage of the Great North Run.
On September 16, the Admiral Swansea Bay 10K will honor Switzer when 5,000 runners participate in what has become the best race in Wales. With the beautiful backdrop of Swansea Bay, runners of all levels will compete at the 10K, 1k, 3k, and 5k events to help introduce young runners to the sport. Switzer’s famous quote, “All you need is the courage to believe in yourself and put one foot in front of the other,” will be emblazoned on every race t-shirt.
On October 11, Switzer will be named one of the Spirit of London award winners at a ceremony at City Hall in London. The Spirit of London awards recognize unsung heroes of the U.K. with focus on achievement in the arts, fashion, music and sports, among others. Switzer will be honored for her pioneering work in women’s sports and long-distance running and also for her participation at the 2017 London Marathon and the creation of her non-profit, 261 Fearless, which empowers women globally through running. In 2018, on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the UK, Switzer completed the Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time, aged 71, wearing her famous 261 number.
“I’m very proud to be recognized for my career-long efforts to support women’s running by these three prestigious organizations in the U.K.,” said Switzer. “An important element of my life-long work has been to utilize running, and all of sport, to send positive messages to female athletes, young and old, in every corner of the world. The Great North Run, the Admiral Swansea 10K and the Spirit of London awards all recognize the efforts made and all three events celebrate my message for female sports participants to be fearless in their pursuit of health and well-being.”
About Kathrine Switzer:
An iconic athlete, author, and advocate for sports and social causes, Switzer was the first woman to officially enter and then run the Boston Marathon. Switzer has been honored for her achievements, such as running both the Boston Marathon and the New York Marathon in the same year as her 70th birthday and for running the Boston Marathon on the 50th anniversary of her historic run in 1967. Switzer was inducted to the USA National Women’s Hall of Fame where she was recognized for creating positive social change throughout her storied career. She continues today as the founder of 261 Fearless which empowers women globally through running. For more information please visit her online at www.kathrineswitzer.com or at her non-profit at www.261fearless.org