Boston Marathon’s Special Woman: Kathrine Switzer Lesson Plan

Marathon Monday’s Very Special Woman: Kathrine Switzer

Created by Meghan Montgomery April 2017


Applies To: Understanding and Participating in Community, Relationships

Purpose: To attend the annual Boston’s Marathon on Monday 4/17/17 and/or to learn more about the history of one particular runner


  • To learn more about Boston’s historical Marathon and Kathrine Switzer
  • To learn more about Kathrine Switzer’s first marathon attempt (1967) and the outcome
  • To learn when women were first legally allowed to run the Boston Marathon (1972)
  • “The result is nothing less than a social revolution; there are now more women runners in the United States than men.”

Materials needed:

Activity Steps:

  1. Explain Kathrine Switzer’s story as well as the explanation given to women (then) about why they couldn’t run a marathon:http://www.wbur.org/news/2016/09/09/kathrine-switzer-boston-marathon-50-years “It was widely believed, you know, that if a woman did anything arduous in sports she was going to get big legs and grow hair on her chest and her uterus was going to fall out,” Switzer told WBUR. “We grew up with these myths and many, many women were afraid of sports and running in particular, distance running, and it was deemed somewhat socially unacceptable.” 
  2. Learn about a very special woman Kathrine Switzer and her determination to run especially in a time where women running wasn’t acceptable or even legal.
  3. Choose to write a letter to either Kathrine, or another strong woman that you believe in who has helped “move mountains” in her or your life. Elaborate.  


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