Kathrine Switzer to be Honored as WE CAN’s “Woman of the Year” at 18th Annual “Words, Wit, and Wisdom”

HARWICH PORT, MA — WE CAN’s 18th annual A Day of Words, Wit, and Wisdom (W3) fundraising event will be celebrated at the Wychmere Beach Club in Harwich Port on Thursday, June 6, 2024 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Kathrine Switzer


Since 2005, W3 has been the nonprofit organization’s exciting, signature event where acclaimed authors come out to share stories of courage and emotion with humor, generosity, and love. Cape Cod 5 is the event’s Pulitzer Prize Award Sponsor.

This year’s event will be emceed by author and TV personality Hank Phillippi Ryan, and featured authors will include Jean Kwok, Nina Simon, and Brendan Slocumb. The three featured authors will speak about their journeys, books, and this year’s event theme, “Found Family.” Afterwards, the organization will honor Kathrine Switzer as its Woman of the Year.

WE CAN’s Executive Director Lisa Guyon said, “Our Woman of the Year is chosen because she has proven to be a tireless advocate for women and girls, a role model in her life and career for others, and someone who has led for social change with courage and grace.”

Ms. Switzer’s work began accidentally in 1967 when she was the first woman to officially enter the Boston Marathon, at that time considered a men’s-only race. Her entry revolutionized the sports world when she was physically attacked by the race director for wearing official bib numbers in the race. The photo of this incident flashed around the globe and became one of Time-Life’s “100 Photos that Changed the World.”

Switzer finished the ‘67 Boston Marathon but was fundamentally changed by the incident and determined to create change for women. She campaigned to make women official in the Boston Marathon in 1972 and later that year was one of the creators of the first women’s road race. Now, four decades later, the incident continues to capture the public imagination and is largely the reason Switzer has dedicated her multifaceted career to creating opportunities on all fronts for women.

Switzer has run 41 marathons, won the 1974 New York City Marathon and in 1975, her two-hour and 51-minute marathon in Boston was ranked sixth in the world and third in the USA in women’s marathon.

After a successful athletic career and in tandem with her work to improve circumstances for women athletes, she turned her attention to a sports marketing career, broadcasting, and motivating others in both fitness and business. In 2004, Switzer decided to focus her considerable energies on writing and public speaking, which she had done for 25 years on a part-time basis.

To purchase tickets to the event, please visit https://www.wecancenter.org/w3 or call 508-430-8111 for more information.

WE CAN supports and guides Cape Cod women to build pathways to stability and self-sufficiency in their lives. WE CAN serves 2,000 women each year across Cape Cod with free and confidential legal consultation, employment and business support, financial empowerment, mentoring, and personal development programs.


A Day of Words, Wit and Wisdom (“W3”) is one of WE CAN’s major fundraising events and significant source of funding to support its programs and services.