Kathrine Switzer: The worst things can become the best things.

Fifty years ago, Kathrine Switzer changed running forever when she became the first woman to officially run Boston. This was at a time when women weren’t allowed to run marathons. Around mile four, race officials tackled her and tried to rip her bib off, but she kept running. She finished the race. She made history. At 70 years old, she’s running Boston again this year.

What inspires me about Kathrine isn’t the races she ran or the records she broke, but rather how she persisted and used her story to encourage women around the world to be fearless. She turned her obstacle into an opportunity. Kathrine is the most energetic person I’ve talked to on Extraordinary Happens and I love what she had to say:

  • “Inspiration comes from the most amazing places. Sometimes the worst things in your life can become the best things. We have to realize the more we try, the more we succeed. Nothing happens if you stay at home. You have to show up, put yourself out there, take the risk and amazing things will happen.” 
  • “Talent and capability is everywhere – it just needs an opportunity and I’m going to dedicate my life to trying to find what that opportunity is for women. I’m also going to try and become a better athlete, and I did become a better athlete. I improved my [Boston Marathon] time from 4 hrs. 20 min. to 2 hrs. 51 min., which only showed me how much real talent is out there if only it had the opportunity. I’m not very talented. I just work hard.” 
  • “We always underestimate our own capability. From one race came this inspiration and legacy, but look at what it has spawned. It has spawned an amazing social movement and created a multi-billion dollar industry with women's running. It has created jobs and good health. You look at the last 50 years, and just imagine the next 50 years. It can be absolutely explosive, wonderful and exciting.” 

Listen to my conversation with Kathrine here

Lauren Grancio