06/21/2012 03:49 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2012

Kathrine Switzer, Marathon Running Pioneer, Set The Pace For Women (VIDEO)

June 23rd marks the 40th anniversary of Title IX -- the law that made all educational programs and activities available to both genders. The law has provided countless opportunities for women and girls in sports.

One outspoken athlete, Kathrine Switzer, has paved the way for women in sports across the country. In 1967, Switzer disguised her gender by entering the all-male Boston Marathon using her initials, making her the first woman to enter the race. While some runners were excited to see Switzer participate, one race director tried to take Switzer's numbers off her chest and throw her out of the race.

It was then that Switzer came to a realization: "If I don't finish this race, then everybody's gonna believe women can't do it and that they don't deserve to be here and that they're incapable," Switzer told AOL. "I've got to finish this race."

How long did it take Switzer to complete the race that not only changed her life, but impacted sports for women across the country? Four hours and 20 minutes. Watch the above video for more of Switzer's account of the Boston Marathon.