For Women’s History Month, Sunday’s SportsCenter SC Featured segment will visit with Kathrine Switzer, who 50 years ago ran into the history books by becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a registered entrant. On April 17, Switzer, still an active athlete, will return to Boston to again compete in the famous race.
In her first piece for SC Featured, ESPN’s Julie Foudy interviewed the now 70-year-old Switzer at her home in upstate New York. Producer Dale Mauldin also talked with Switzer at her second home in New Zealand. The feature will debut in the 10 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on Sunday and re-air in other editions of the program throughout the day. Foudy spoke with Front Row about the piece.
How did you get involved in this feature?
Victor Vitarelli [ESPN senior coordinating producer] reached out and asked if I’d be interested in talking with Kathrine and I said, “Heck yes!” I know Kathrine already, I love Kathrine, I think her story is incredible and inspiring and courageous and all these adjectives that come with fearlessness, and yet there’s still a lot of people who don’t know her story so I was thrilled to help tell it in any way I could.
When you hear her tell it in first person and take you back to that day, I thought, oh my goodness, this is a 20-year-old running the Boston Marathon, and at Mile Two, she gets literally attacked by the race director and has the strength to carry on after her boyfriend checked him out of the way.
— Kathrine Switzer (@KVSwitzer) March 10, 2017
What do you hope people will take away from it?
I think the perspective for what she endured at 20 and what she did and how she carried on, and by carrying on she inspired so many women to do the same, in any part of their life. Because imagine if she hadn’t carried on and she hadn’t finished that race. She said, “I thank the race director, Jock Semple, for attacking me,” because that created a photo that women could look at and say, she got through it, and she made it, and I can do that too, I can be fearless and overcome anything that’s coming at me. I think to be able to tell that story in a really personal way, with the incredible footage we have of that actual moment, and to be able to celebrate it 50 years later and say Kathrine Switzer is still making a difference globally, not just in the running world but in the lives of many women, I hope that’s the story we can tell and share because it’s incredibly inspirational.