FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Running Legend Kathrine Switzer Awarded
Road Runner Akron Marathon's Inaugural Ambassador Award
AKRON, Ohio, October 2, 2008 – As part of the events surrounding this
year's Road Runner Akron Marathon, race organizers presented running legend
Kathrine Switzer with the inaugural Ambassador Award. The award will be
given annually to individuals that demonstrate superior service and
dedication to the sport of running.
"This award is for those who have earned respect within their community for
their exceptional accomplishments, and we are honored to present the
inaugural award to Kathrine Switzer," said Dave Hunter, Road Runner Akron
Marathon Course Co-Chair.
Switzer made history when she became the first female to run and finish the
Boston Marathon in 1967 before it was legal for women to participate. While
at the Boston Marathon, Switzer was attacked by the race director when he
found out she was on the course.
"He went crazy and told me to get the hell off his course and give him his
number back. My boyfriend at the time intervened, and although I was shaken
up, I continued and ended up finishing the race," said Switzer. After the
Boston Marathon, Switzer went on to complete 35 marathons and won the New
York City Marathon in 1974.
Beyond making history in 1967, Switzer has a long list of accomplishments
that illustrate her dedication to the sport. She was the official
spokeswoman and announcer for this year's 2008 USA Women's 8 km
Championship. Switzer was recognized as one of the Visionaries of the
Century in 2000 by Runner's World Magazine. She is also among the first
class of inductees into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame.
"What thrills me the most about this award is that it is given to me by my
peers," said Switzer. "That says a lot. The other thing is that this isn't
an award for crashing the Boston Marathon. This is an award for the dreams
and lifetime of work that followed that."
The selection committee for the Road Runner Akron Marathon Ambassador Award
consists of representatives from associate communities. The Akron Marathon
Charitable Corporation Board of Directors presents the award.
The Road Runner Akron Marathon is organized by the Akron Marathon
Charitable Corporation, a nonprofit group that is dedicated to promoting
health and fitness. Additional information on the Road Runner Akron
Marathon, Half Marathon and Chase Team Relays is available at
www.akronmarathon.org or by calling (330) 375-2786 (2RUN).