Published by Page Street Kids
Summary: Growing up in the 1950’s, Kathrine Switzer loved to run at a time when girls weren’t encouraged to pursue athletics. At Lynchburg College, she was recruited for the men’s track team. When she transferred to Syracuse University, she was no longer allowed to compete, but she still worked out with the men. Their coach had run the Boston Marathon many times, and Kathrine decided she wanted to try it. Registering as “K. V. Switzer”, she became the first officially registered woman to complete the race (Bobbi Gibb entered as a “bandit”, running the Boston Marathon in 1966). When asked by reporters why she had done it, she replied simply, “I like to run. Women deserve to run too.” Includes an author’s note, a note about women and the Boston Marathon, and a bibliography. 40 pages; grades K-5.
Pros: It’s a compelling sports story, and Kathrine comes across as down-to-earth and someone who young readers will relate to.
Cons: Bobbi Gibb is mentioned in the women and the Boston Marathon note as someone who completed the marathon “after hiding in the bushes and slipping into the race”, which discounts her achievement as somewhat sneaky. This is misleading…read a more complete account of her story in last year’s Girl Running.