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Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports Paperback – March 10, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Deseret Morning News, 4/18/09
“The photographs included are amazing, as is her story of how running transformed her life and how she used it to create more opportunities for other women."
 
Inside Texas Running, May 2011
“Brilliant race descriptions and personal life stories.”

About the Author

Kathrine Switzer is an Emmy-winning television commentator who has covered numerous Olympics and marathons worldwide. The author of Running and Walking for Women Over 40, she lives and runs in New York and New Zealand.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738213292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738213293
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Montgomery on April 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book a week ago at a race expo (and also had the opportunity to meet and chat with Kathrine Switzer). I devoured this book within a few days. Her writing is great, her story compelling and inspiring. She weaves together the story of her own personal running history, the history of womens long distance running, her quest to have the marathon included as a womens event in the Olympics (a monumental feat), including her own interpersonal struggles with the men in her life and development of her career along the way. Her writing was very candid, occasionally funny, and she had a wonderful way of including and articulating some of her more trivial thoughts and incidents, which brought the book to life.
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Format: Hardcover
Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports

I read a good bit both professionally, and for pleasure. Marathon Woman is the absolute best non-fiction book I have ever read. From the moment I picked the book up, I was constantly wondering what was going to happen next. I simply could not put it down. Ms. Switzer has a very easy reading, conversational style to her writing that makes the reader feel as if she is standing next to you relating an exciting event. What struck me the most about the book is that it is far more than a compelling and interesting story. It is also far more than a running story. Instead it is almost a textbook on responsibility, without the preaching we have all come to expect when that word is used. Traits such as persistance, effort, planning, and doing something because it is the right thing to do, shine throughout the whole book. Yet while readers come to greatly admire the courage of Ms. Switzer, we are also seeing exactly how we can apply the belief that if you want something, are willing to put in the effort, and you stick with it, you are most likely to succeed. It was an inspiring and very enlightening book. I can't want to read her next one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The battle for women's rights in athletics seems almost quaint and definitely silly now.

How could we preclude half of the population from enjoying what men enjoyed since the rise of leisure time? Did medical experts really claim that women couldn't run long distances, or that they couldn't handle the strain of playing full-court basketball?

It is easy to forgot what it took to get us to where we are now. So Kathrine Switzer's book, "Marathon Woman," serves as an excellent reminder of those past struggles.

The first part of this autobiography, which actually extends only through 1984, deals with how she became the female to be officially entered and run the Boston Marathon. She used an initial for a first name on the entry form, and she had to fend off Jock Semple, an official at the Marathon to do so, but she finished the race. Suddenly, all things female in long-distance running looked a lot more possible. Her stories about preparation for Boston are extremely detailed, as if she was taking notes along the way.

Switzer could have been content with being a trivia question and moving on to other areas of life, but she was smart enough and clever enough to carve out a niche in running. She graduated from college and juggled all sorts of responsibilities. Switzer spent some time training to become one of America's best marathoners while earning enough money to pay the bills and doing paid and unpaid work in order to push the cause along. The one question that comes up is: Did the woman ever sleep in the 1970's?

The steps were slow but steady. Switzer eventually hooked on with Avon, which set up a series of races around the world.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This was hands down one of the most inspiring running books I've ever read. Kathrine's foresight into the sport of running amazes me - we can thank her not only for bringing the women's marathon to the 1984 Olympic games but also for today's modern marathon "comforts" that didn't exist when she first hit the streets of Boston.
I read this while training for a marathon and her story kept me going during those long and painful runs. This book is a must-read for any runner, male or female.
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Format: Hardcover
If ever there was a real-life Wonder Woman, it's Kathrine Switzer...whose brave pursuit and promotion of running events have benefitted countless millions who want to similarly express their joy for the sport. This fun-to-read, fascinating autobiography beautifully communicates the voice of its author: enthusiastic, funny, passionate. It's a must-read for marathoners and entertaining for anyone else who's ever shared in the excitement of witnessing and/or participating in a sporting event.
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Format: Paperback
Kathrine is famous as the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon (under circumstances of some controversy, back in 1967). After that historic event, she continued a powerful running career, which included winning the 1974 New York City Marathon. Kathrine is furthermore credited as one of the main influencers of the development of competitive distance running for women internationally, including the establishment of the women's marathon as an Olympic event.
This book is Kathrine's story. While that story is a fascinating one for anyone involved in running, it is more than that - it is a source of inspiration for anyone fighting against the odds in similar situations.
However, it is not just the story that makes this book special. It is written in such a casual, enjoyable style that I, for one, could not put it down. Marathon Woman is a must read for anyone who calls himself or herself a runner.
Warwick Ford, Author of "Fun on Foot in New York"
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