"People have such an appreciation for what running has done for them and how it's changed their lives", said Switzer, who named her 261 Fearless foundation after the bib number that was almost torn from her back on the marathon course.
"I just ran the fastest marathon I've run in 46 years", she told TODAY, having finished the 26.2-mile course in 4 hours, 44 minutes and 31 seconds.
On Monday, her bib number, 261 - the same one she wore in 1967 - became only the second number ever to be retired in Boston Marathon's history.
Patriots' Day? It was more like Kenyan Day at the Boston Marathon.
"I turned to Arnie and said, 'I'm going to finish this race on my hands and my knees if I have to, '" she said. "Women can't run in the marathon because the rules forbid it", he said. She also lobbied to get women officially admitted into the Boston Marathon, which finally happened in 1972.
Yesterday morning, wearing the very same number which was nearly ripped off her five decades earlier, the now 70-year-old Switzer completed the Boston Marathon for a ninth time. We are here to change the life of women. It was a joyous experience.
Kiplagat finished in 2:21:52 to win her Boston debut, adding the victory to two world championships and wins in London, New York and Los Angeles. "I wrote 2-6-1 on my arm and the crowds cheered me on that day", said Carlson. He ran all three carrying the American flag that had inspired him. Runners like veteran Jose Sanchez have reclaimed the race one step at a time.
Jimmy Golen has covered the Boston Marathon for The Associated Press since 1995.