Photo of Switzer being chased down by an angry race official in the Boston Marathon.

In 1967 Katherine Switzer, an American author, became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a numbered, registered participant. During the marathon an official tried to oust her from the race by grabbing at her bib number but he was unsuccessful and she completed the race. After the incident with the official, Switzer turned to her coach and said, “I’m finishing this race on my hands and knees if I have to.” Even though she completed the marathon, the angry official managed to get her disqualified from the race for being a woman.

The Boston Marathon is one of the most prominent races in the United States. But back in the 1960s, women weren't allowed to compete. It wasn't until 1972, five years after Switzer's run, that women could officially participate.