27 Kathrine Switzer Quotes from American Marathon Runner

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially participate in the Boston Marathon, despite an attempt by the race director to eject her.

Born in Germany in 1947 and raised in Virginia, Switzer engaged in sports during her teenage years.

While at Syracuse University, she trained with the men’s cross-country team and chose to enter the Boston Marathon under the name “K. V. Switzer.”

During the marathon, the race director tried to remove her bib, but she finished the race, later championing women’s sports rights.

Kathrine Switzer

The Boston Marathon allowed female participants in 1972 and by 1977, Switzer had established the Avon International Running Circuit.

This initiative eventually led to the inclusion of the women’s marathon in the 1984 Olympics.

An author and TV commentator, Switzer has received various accolades for her contribution to women’s athletics.

I have made a collection of the top quotes by Kathrine Switzer in this writeup.

Best Kathrine Switzer Quotes


Life is for participating, not for spectating. ~ Kathrine Switzer.


If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon. ~ Kathrine Switzer.


Talent is everywhere, it only needs the opportunity. ~ Kathrine Switzer.


Women were afraid and they would never even imagine running a marathon in 1967. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

I could feel my anger dissipating as the miles went by – you can’t run and stay mad! ~ Kathrine Switzer.

All you need is the courage to believe in yourself and put one foot in front of the other. ~ Kathrine Switzer.


I always say that talent and capability is everywhere, all it needs is opportunity. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

I do forgive people when they get it right, even people who in the past I thought were unforgivable. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

There is an expression among even the most advanced runners that getting your shoes on is the hardest part of any workout. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

Famous Kathrine Switzer Quotes


I could persevere and overcome all odds. I didn’t want to feel like a quitter on this relationship, or anything else. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

Jock Semple and I were at daggers drawn for five years, even though I kind of forgave him from the get-go. I knew he was an over-stressed race director, I knew he was protecting his race. It took five years because we had to do our homework – meaning we women – we did our legislative work and we officially got into the Boston Marathon. Then, all was forgiven by Jock Semple. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

When I go to the Boston Marathon now, I have wet shoulders – women fall into my arms crying. They’re weeping for joy because running has changed their lives. They feel they can do anything. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

At the finish line of the 1967 Boston Marathon, one crabby journalist said it was just a one-off deal and women weren’t going to run. Only a 20-year-old who had just run a marathon and was shot full of endorphin would say this but I said that there’s going to come a day in our lives when women’s running is as popular and as men’s. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

Inspiring Kathrine Switzer Quotes

A picture, of Jock Semple kissed me, appeared in The New York Times the next day after Boston Marathon in 1973, and the caption was “The end of an era.” ~ Kathrine Switzer.

I forgave Jock Semple his action on Boston race just around the time I got to Heartbreak Hill. I had 24 miles to go and you cannot run 24 miles and stay angry. That’s the truth. When we go out and we’re mad at our boss or mad at the world, when we run, we get it out of our system. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

I don’t have any kids of my own, quite by choice. There are two reasons for that. One, I had a sense of obligation for what my life would be and a vision of how to get that accomplished and it didn’t include children. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just that if you have them, they deserve 100 per cent of your attention. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

What I’ve done in this older part of my life is I started foundation called 261 Fearless, named after my old, 1967 Boston Marathon, bib number. I thought we could create training and a communicative, non-judgmental platform, in a movement to let them know they’re not alone. Then fearless women can reach out to help women who are fearful and take that first step using the vehicle of running because it’s transformational. It works for every woman every time. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

Triumph over adversity that’s what the marathon is all about. Nothing in life can’t triumph after that. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

I said that there’s going to come a day in our lives when women’s running is as popular and as men’s. Looking back, I obviously had a great sense of vision. And I was right. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

Women is out because she’s getting in her daily dose of empowerment, freedom and fearlessness. She has put on her freedom wings for 20 minutes or two hours. That’s going to make her whole day right and her whole future hold up and seem entirely possible. The sense of her not having any limits, or any restrictions, to me, is so liberating. She doesn’t have to prove anything. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

When I forgave Jock Semple on Heartbreak Hill, I also got really cross with women. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t get it, why they didn’t know that running was so cool and why they weren’t in the race as well. Then I thought to myself “How stupid can you be? You’ve had so much encouragement and motivation and these women haven’t.” ~ Kathrine Switzer.

Top Kathrine Switzer Quotes

A lack of forgiveness is a waste of time and it’s very enriching to forgive and move on but those are things that come with time. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

When I finished the Boston race in 1967, there were two things I wanted to do. I wanted to become a better athlete because my first marathon was 4:20. In those days, that was considered a jogging time and I knew people were going to tease me. But I was more fascinated with what women could do if they only had the chance. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

When I was first running marathons, we were sailing on a flat earth. We were afraid we’d get big legs, grow mustaches, not get boyfriends, not be able to have babies. Women thought that something would happen to them, that they’d break down or turn into men, something shadowy, when they were only limited by their own society’s sense of limitations. ~ Kathrine Switzer.


If you feel positive, you have a sense of hope. If you have hope, you can have courage. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

1967 race in Boston changed not just my life, but millions of women’s lives. There are also things that, when you get older, resonate more. ~ Kathrine Switzer.

So these were the 27 top Kathrine Switzer quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Katherine Heigl quotes and Katharine Hepburn quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar