She crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon wearing the same bib number as the first time. The Boston Marathon will retire number 261 in Switzer’s honor. Even stopping for pictures and interviews she still finished under qualifying time 4:44:31 and an average mile of 10:51. This was Switzer’s 40th marathon and her ninth time running the Boston race.
She was an advocate for women in sports breaking sexism. “What happened on the streets of Boston 50 years ago completely changed my life and changed other people’s lives,” she said in an interview after the race. Switzer achieved her personal best in 1975, 2:51:33, when she finished second in Boston. She created the Avon International Running Circuit of women’s-only races in 27 countries, paving the way for the first women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. She also formed “261 Fearless”, a nonprofit running club for women that has groups across the country.