Seneca Falls, N.Y. - Women's Rights National Historical Park, in partnership with the National Women's Hall of Fame, invites the public to attend a panel discussion titled, "Running the Rough Road to Equality: a True History of the Pioneer Days of Women's Running" on Friday, May 6th, at 1:30 pm in the park's Wesleyan Chapel. Featured panelists will be Katherine Switzer and Roger Robinson.

Switzer, an athlete, author, spokeswoman, commentator, and advocate, is best known as the woman who, in 1967, challenged the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon and became the first woman to officially enter and run the event. Her entry garnered worldwide attention when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the competition. This was captured in a photo that became one of Time-Life's "100 Photos that Changed the World." Having been denied many athletic opportunities herself, Kathrine is a tireless advocate for female athletes and, after organizing a global series of 400 women's races in 27 countries, was instrumental in making the women's marathon an official event in the Olympic Games. She has authored hundreds of articles, three books, and has won several Emmy's for her sports commentary.

Robinson is a runner, writer, scholar, educator, and Professor Emeritus of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. A world championship representative for England and New Zealand, he later set age-group records at the Boston and New York City marathons, and has returned to a high ranking in the over-70 age-groups. As a running journalist, Robinson has been an advocate for women's running since the 1960s, and paralleled that as a senior academic, introducing and contributing to one of the earliest programs in literary women's studies. His scholarly publications include a book on Katherine Mansfield, and the only modern edition of the historically important utopian feminist novel of 1889, Anno Domini; or Woman's Destiny, by Julius Vogel, who as Prime Minister introduced the world's first women's suffrage legislation, passed in the New Zealand Parliament in 1893.

Following the discussion, a book signing, featuring the works of both Switzer and Robinson, will be held in the park's Visitor Center.

Women's Rights National Historical Park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For more information about the park and upcoming programs, please visit our website at or call (315) 568-2991. Follow us on Facebook (@WomensRightsNPS) and Twitter (#WomensRightsNPS). Join the Friends of Women's Rights National Historical Park at If you would like to receive email announcements about other upcoming events, just send an email to to subscribe. All programs are free and open to the public.


Contact: Kimberly Szewczyk
Phone Number: 315-568-2991
Date: 4/28/16
Release Number: 16-20