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“Bobbi” Gibb Named Boston Marathon Grand Marshal

 

Roberta ‰ÛÏBobbi‰Û Gibb Named Grand Marshal of the 2016 Boston Marathon

 

B.A.A. to Celebrate 50 Years of Women‰Ûªs Running at the Boston Marathon throughout Marathon Weekend

 

BOSTON ‰ÛÒ The Boston
Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that Roberta ‰ÛÏBobbi‰Û Gibb
will be the Grand Marshal of the 2016 Boston Marathon® on
Monday, April 18. One of the Boston Marathon‰Ûªs most recognizable
pioneers, Gibb became the first woman ever to complete the Boston
Marathon in 1966, when she raced from Hopkinton to Boston as an
unregistered participant. At that time, women were not yet allowed to
officially register for the Boston Marathon. Her successful finish at
the 1966 Boston Marathon became a historic milestone in the women‰Ûªs
running movement.

 

‰ÛÏThis year we are excited to celebrate 50 years
of women’s participation at the Boston Marathon, particularly honoring
Bobbi Gibb and her pioneering run in 1966,‰Û said Joann Flaminio,
President of the B.A.A. ‰ÛÏGibb changed the course of running history
five decades ago, setting the stage for generations to come. Bobbi will
lead 30,000 runners, including more than 14,000 female entrants, on
their way to Boston on Patriots‰Ûª Day this year.‰Û

 

At the age of 23, Gibb traveled from California
to her family‰Ûªs home in Winchester, Mass., arriving a day before the
1966 Boston Marathon. Waiting in bushes adjacent to the start in
Hopkinton, Gibb jumped into the sea of runners shortly after the
starting gun sounded, beginning her run to Boston.

 

Crossing the finish line in 3 hours, 21
minutes, 40 seconds, Gibb became the first woman to successfully
complete the Hopkinton to Boston race, placing ahead of many male
competitors. Despite not being recognized as an official finisher,
Gibb‰Ûªs drive to complete the race was a watershed moment in women‰Ûªs
distance running history.

 

In both 1967 and 1968, Gibb returned to Boston
and again finished as the top woman. Gradually, the women‰Ûªs running
movement picked up steam and – in 1972 – women were officially
recognized as official entrants in the Patriots‰Ûª Day race. In the years
since 1966, more than 164,000 women have finished the Boston Marathon.

 

At the 100th Boston Marathon in
1996, Gibb was presented an official finisher‰Ûªs medal for her runs in
1966, 1967, in recognition of her place in Boston Marathon – and
running – history. 

 

‰ÛÏNot only did Bobbi Gibb’s run lead to women’s
participation in marathoning, but it also proved that courage and
determination can lead to change,‰Û said Flaminio. ‰ÛÏThroughout Boston
Marathon week we will honor Bobbi and women of the Boston Marathon.‰Û

 

During Boston Marathon week, the B.A.A. will
celebrate many pioneers in the women‰Ûªs running movement, highlighting
stories of triumph and accomplishment. From the thousands of women
charity runners to the six women who have active streaks of 25 or more
consecutive Boston Marathons, women‰Ûªs running will be a key theme at
the 120th running of the Boston Marathon.

 

As Grand Marshal,
Gibb will ride in a custom pace car provided by the New England Acura
Dealers Association, the official automotive sponsor of the Boston
Marathon. Riding ahead of the lead pack, Gibb will signify that
thousands of runners will soon be coming down the course. The B.A.A.
has reserved the grand marshal role as a position of recognition and
honor. Last year‰Ûªs grand marshal was Dick Hoyt of Team Hoyt, while the
2014 Grand Marshal was four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers.

 

Over the last 50
years, Bobbi Gibb has reflected upon her 1966 run from Hopkinton to
Boston in many ways. Gibb has produced a booklet titled ‰ÛÏTo Boston with
Love: The Story of the First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon,‰Û which
chronicles her experience. She has also authored a book titled ‰ÛÏWind in
the Fire.‰Û

 

The 120th
running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016,
and John Hancock Financial is the Principal Sponsor for the 31st consecutive year.

 

ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (B.A.A.)


Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a
non-profit organization with a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle
through sports, especially running. The B.A.A.‰Ûªs Boston Marathon is the
world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other
local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth, and year-round
running programs. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston
Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part
of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, along with the international
marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York City. More
than 60,000 runners will participate in B.A.A. events in 2016. The 120th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 18, 2016. For more information
on the B.A.A., please visit www.baa.org.

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