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April 18, 2017

First woman to run Boston Marathon 50 years ago crossed the 2017 finish line for women's rights

Kathrine Switzer: 'We are here to change the life of women'

In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon by using her initials, K.V. Switzer, to secure a bib.

Fifty years later, Switzer again crossed the Boston Marathon finish line, but instead of breaking the rules – in 1972, the policy changed to allow women to enter the race – she ran on Monday to break down barriers for women’s rights.

"I finished, like I did 50 years ago," Switzer posted on Facebook after completing Monday's race. "We are here to change the life of women. Just imagine what’s gonna happen in 50 years!"

Running the 1967 Boston Marathon changed the course of Switzer's life.

Two miles into the 1967 race, a race official noticed her and attempted to kick her off the course. She persevered and finished the race, and she's since been on a mission to create opportunities and equal sport status for women.

On Monday, Switzer, now 70, ran the Boston race for the ninth time, finishing under the qualifying time at 4 hours, 44 minutes and 31 seconds with an average mile of 10:51, according to CNN. Bib No. 261, the one she wore her first time running the course and then again this year, was retired on Monday in her honor.