Early Women in the Boston Marathon

Active & Adventurous - Outdoors

Ladies Fight Their Way to Run in Boston


In 1966, Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb became the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon, but had to sneak her way in. Gibb hid in the bushes near the start until the race began, and joined the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired. Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. She ran the race in 1967 and 1968 in the same fashion. In 1967, Katherine Switzer became the first woman to receive a race bib, but she too did so on the sly. She signed her entry form "K.V. Switzer" to get into the race. When officials realized K.V. was a woman, they unsuccessfully tried to physically remove her from the course. When an official tried to tackle Switzer, he was pushed to the ground by one of her friends. Switzer estimates she finished in 4:20:00. Women were officially permitted by the Amateur Athletics Union to run the race in 1972. Nina Kuscsik emerged from an eight-member starting field that year to win the race in 3:10:26.

From UniversalSports.com's coverage of the Boston Marathon's most memorable moments. Click the link to see a photo of race officials trying to remove Switzer from the race.

 
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