50 years ago, Kathrine Switzer changed the Boston Marathon forever, by illegally entering as a woman. The pictures of the race director trying to wrestle her down – and her boyfriend blocking him from doing so – serve as a milestone for the sport’s burgeoning diversity. Now here is a history of those famous pictures.
Everyone knows someone who’s run the marathon. Today’s big-city races—in places like Boston, New York, Berlin, and London—draw Olympic hopefuls competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars and hordes of weekend warriors raising money for their favorite charities or just hoping to check off “complete a marathon” on their bucket lists. Marathoning has birthed an industry of energy supplements and performance gear, training manuals and glossy magazines, corporate sponsorships and fitness expos. And nearly half of marathon entrants are women.