Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb is the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon at the time when women were banned from entering the Men’s Division Race.
After being denied a bib by the 1966 Boston Athletic Association because women were “not psychologically able” to run long distances, she snuck into the race and completed alongside the men, finishing at 3 hours and 21 minutes and beating half of her competition.
Boston didn’t allow women to run officially until 1972, when Long Island’s Nina Kuscsik became the first official women’s champion.
Roberta ran in white leather Red Cross nurses' shoes because there were no running shoes available for women at the time.
Today Gibb works as a neuroscience researcher at the University of California San Diego and makes bronze sculptures in Boston.
“When I grew up, women were passive. They sat on the
sidelines as guys ran and surfed. But I imagined female
role models who were fast, beautiful, strong and self-
assured—like today’s women. I did what I could to help
move things in this direction.” - Roberta Gibb