Imagine being good at something. Really good at something. And then being told that you can’t do it because you’re a woman.
For talented runner, Kathrine Switzer, this was a reality in 1967 when she wanted to enter the Boston Marathon.
While the rules didn’t explicitly state that women couldn’t run the race, it was tradition rigorously upheld by the organisers. Marathons were for men, they said.
But Switzer managed to slip through the net by signing just her initials on the registration form, leading race organisers to assume she was male.
What followed was horrific. Men shamed her and shouted abuse at her, one saying she should be at home in the kitchen making dinner for her husband.
Another yelled “get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers” before trying to pull them off her jumper.
At the end of the race, Kathrine Switzer was unfairly disqualified.