50 years later: South Bend runner finishes Boston Marathon, honors first woman

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Bobbi Gibb hid in the bushes by the starting line and snuck into the mass of runners as they passed, finishing in 3:21:40.

The sole woman on the course that day, Katherine Switzer, was the first woman to break the gender barrier at the Boston Marathon.

Still, despite proof that women could clearly complete marathons, the athletic world generally assumed that women "couldn't run and didn't want to run" that far, Switzer says.

Switzer's race was immortalized in photos of then race director Jock Semple taking to the course in an attempt to take her bib number away and stop her from running, noted the Boston Globe.

Regardless of the reason, Granville made a decision to put the woman, who reportedly was his running partner for the race, on his shoulders to take her the rest of the way. I realized if I quit the race.

The longest distance women were allowed to run in the Olympics at that time was 800 meters.

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This year, in her seventies, Kathrine once again took to the streets of Boston, but this time no one questioned her (or any other woman's) place among the men. "People who couldn't be out there and running for them", said Carlson. Get the hell out of my race.

Marathon watchers came up to hug him and offer thanks but Granville didn't know what all the hubbub was about.

Switzer finished the race in four hours and twenty minutes.

Next year marks the fifth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Granville could be seen around mile 26 carrying a woman on his shoulders, along with an American flag, so that she could cross the finish line. She won the New York City marathon in 1974.

"I'm so very grateful".

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