Kathrine Switzer with Girls on the Run of NOVA at Waples Mill Elementary.
Kathrine Switzer, an iconic athlete, sports and social advocate, author, and Emmy award-winning television commentator -- the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon -- joined a Girls on the Run of NOVA team practice at Waples Mill Elementary in Vienna. She participated in the practice and spoke with the girls about her experiences as a woman gaining leadership skills and strength of character through running and sport.
Switzer has been honored widely for her achievements, including being inducted into the U.S.A National Women’s Hall of Fame for creating positive social change. The ramifications of her work are both joyful and profound, changing forever the face of sports, health, and opportunities for women around the world.
“It’s such an honor to be here in helping the young girls of Girls On The Run of NOVA,” said Switzer, “and it’s particularly special to me because I was raised in Fairfax County! I was just the age of some of these girls when my Dad encouraged me to run. Running gave me self-esteem even then, but I sure wish I’d had a program like GOTR, because this organization helps these girls onto a strong path to the future. Running made all the difference in my life and I want to help pass this on to every young girl in the world.”