HRC Blog

I Just Want to Run

This post is by Margot Rosen, HRC Director of Membership and Community Events:

This week was the 116th Boston Marathon--the nation's longest running marathon. Just 40 years ago, it was the venue where Kathrine Switzer decided to challenge herself--and challenge the myth that marathon running should remain a male-only sport--by being the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Since then, Kathrine Switzer has championed the inclusion of women in distance running and even in allowing women to compete in marathons for the Olympic Games.

What the press photos captured that day—on a cold Boston morning—as the first woman ran in the Boston Marathon was shocking. A race official actually jumped into the race and tried to tackle and tear at Kathrine Switzer to remove her from the race. Kathrine later told the pool of reporters at the race that she just wanted to run. 

"I just want to run."

Our LGBT community knows very well the challenges faced when simply wanting to be treated as an equal is obstructed by stereotypes and discrimination. Today, it is amazing to witness the freedom and strength that is embodied in the hundreds of thousands of women who take part in marathons across the world. 

I invite you to join us in blazing the trail that leaders like Kathrine Switzer have laid out for us.  Right now, we're gathering a group of one hundred people to run in this year's National Marine Corps Marathon. Be a part of LGBT history by joining HRC's Athletes for Equality and help us celebrate how far we have come together and how with every step, we can get closer to full LGBT equality.

Learn more about Kathrine Switzer on her website or watch the video below:

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