Sen. Eric P. Lesser joined the Massachusetts Senate in welcoming Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb, who 50 years ago became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, to the Statehouse.
“I’m deeply moved. This is a great honor. So many of you are working to make this a better world. Thank you,” Gibb said in her brief remarks to the Senate.
Gibb ran an unsanctioned race in 1966 before women were allowed to compete in the 26.2-mile race from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay. Women were finally allowed to participate as official entrants in 1972, according to the Boston Athletic Association, which this year named Gibb the grand marshal for the marathon, set to take place on Patriot’s Day, April 18.
At the age of 23 in 1966 Gibb traveled from California to Massachusetts, where her family lived in Winchester, and hid in bushes near the Hopkinton starting line, joining the marathoners shortly after the starting gun, according to the athletic association. Gibb finished in 3 hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds.