The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 23, 2013

Boston Marathon's first woman runner to visit Mankato

Kathrine Switzer keynote speaker for 2013 Mankato Marathon

MANKATO — Kathrine Switzer will be the keynote speaker for the Speaker Series Oct. 19. The title of her speech is "Men, Women and the Marathon; Running Away Together". 

People who attend Switzer's speech can expect a humorous, inspiring and informative talk. In 1967, Switzer was the first woman who officially ran the Boston Marathon. She was nearly removed from the race by a director reacting in an era when the marathon was a men-only event. Switzer's run and her subsequent work as an advocate, organizer, author and broadcaster changed history.

Switzer remains a strong force in the running world. Switzer is not only an iconic athlete who has run 39 marathons including her win at the New York City Marathon in 1974, she is also an advocate for sports equality for women. Switzer created the Avon International Running Circuit of women's only races in 27 countries beginning in 1978. The global impact of this series was influential on the inclusion of the first women's marathon in the 1984 Olympics. Switzer is also an Emmy award-winning TV commentator, a dynamic public speaker, a journalist and an author of three books including her memoir, "Marathon Woman".

The Speaker Series will be held at Myers Field House on the Minnesota State University Mankato Campus from 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 19.