In 1967, runner Kathrine Switzer defied regulations to compete in the Boston Marathon, despite the fact that a race organizer chased her through the street trying to rip off her bib number.
At the time, it was a men’s-only event, and she was the first woman to enter and run in a major U.S. marathon.
Switzer’s actions that day altered the terrain for female athletes around the world, and Switzer herself went on to compete in 39 marathons, winning the New York City Marathon in 1974.
Now, as she prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her historic Boston run next year, the trailblazer has signed on as a Reebok ambassador to help empower women to achieve their fitness goals.
Switzer said in a statement, “Reebok truly understands the importance of fitness and how it transcends the physical benefits to bring strength and confidence to other aspects of life. I am really looking forward to working side by side with a global brand to help connect with and empower women across the world, and show that potential is truly limitless.”
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As part of the partnership, Reebok will help support the nonprofit Switzer founded last year, 261 Fearless (named for her Boston bib number, 261). The Boston-based athletic brand will create a special 261 Fearless capsule collection for spring ’17 and donate 5 percent of net sales from the product to the nonprofit.
Scott Daley, GM of the Reebok running division, said in the statement, “We look forward to supporting the growth and development of 261 Fearless and their aspirational and constructive digital community for women’s running.”