“When she applied to run in the Boston Marathon in 1966 they rejected her saying: “Women are not physiologically able to run a marathon, and we can’t take the liability.”
Fifty six years ago Bobbi Gibb hid in the bushes and waited for the race to begin. When most of the runners had gone past she jumped in.
“I figured that once they saw that women could run, that would break down the misconceptions and prejudices against women not only in running, but if this thing that everybody thought about women was proved to be false then what else could be broken down?” Gibb said.
It didn’t take long to notice that Gibbs is not a man. She expected men to be angry and push her off the road, but instead runners told her if anyone tried to stop her they would put an end to it. Finally feeling secure, Gibb took off her sweatshirt.
By the time she reached Wellesley College, the news of her run had spread like wildfire, and the female students were waiting for her, jumping and screaming. The governor of Massachusetts met her at the finish line and shook her hand.
Gibb completed the 1966 Boston Marathon in 3:21, beating more than half of the field as the first woman in history to cross the Boston finish line.
After 56 years of progress, this year 16,425 participated in the Boston Marathon with 12,155 women, all because of the brave move of one woman.
The next year was Kathrine Switzer:
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