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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 10:16 AM

Are you all familiar with the story of Bobbi Gibb? I wasn't and she is awesome.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobbi_Gibb



[edit]Early life
Bobbi Gibb grew up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts during the 1940s and 1950s.[7] She studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University School of Special Studies.[8][9] Her father was a professor of chemistry at Tufts. She was already running through the woods with the neighborhood dogs when, in 1962, she met a distance runner at Tufts named William Bingay, who would later become a sailor and her first husband.[10][11][12] They married on February 5, 1966, in California.[12] Her running included daily commuting of the eight miles to school.[10] She ran in white leather Red Cross nurses' shoes because there were no running shoes available for women at the time.[13]

[edit]Boston Marathon
Before 1966, it was generally believed that women were physiologically unable to run marathon distances.[6] The longest Amateur Athletic Union (AAU)-sanctioned race for women was one and a half miles. Until 1972, when the first women's division marathon opened, the Boston Marathon was a men’s division race, so all the pioneer women who ran before 1972 were, under the AAU rules, unsanctioned runners, running in an as yet to be sanctioned women’s division race.
Gibb trained for two years to run the Boston Marathon, covering as much as 40 miles in one day.[10][14] On writing for an application in February 1966, she received a letter from the race director, Will Cloney, informing her that women were not physiologically capable of running marathon distances and that under the rules that governed amateur sports set out by the AAU, women were not allowed to run more than a mile and a half competitively. She realized that it was more important than ever to run and that her run would have a social significance far beyond just her own personal challenge.
After three nights and four days on a bus from San Diego, California, Gibb arrived the day before the race at her parents' house in Winchester, Massachusetts.[14] On the morning of Patriots' Day, April 19, 1966, her mother dropped her off at the start in Hopkinton.[14] Wearing her brother’s Bermuda shorts and a blue hooded sweatshirt over a black, tanked-top swim suit, she hid in the bushes near the starting pen.[14] After the starting gun fired, she waited until about half the pack had started and then jumped into the race.[15]

The men soon realized that she was a woman. Encouraged by their friendliness and support, she removed her sweatshirt.[8] To her delight and relief, the crowds cheered to see a woman running. The press began to report on her progress towards Boston, history in the making.
Diana Chapman Walsh, the former President of Wellesley College, said of the event:

“That was my senior year at Wellesley. As I had done every spring since I arrived on campus, I went out to cheer the runners. But there was something different about that Marathon Day—like a spark down a wire, the word spread to all of us lining the route that a woman was running the course. For a while, the "screech tunnel" fell silent. We scanned face after face in breathless anticipation until just ahead of her, through the excited crowd, a ripple of recognition shot though the lines and we cheered as we never had before. We let out a roar that day, sensing that this woman had done more than just break the gender barrier in a famous race…[16]


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Reply Are you all familiar with the story of Bobbi Gibb? I wasn't and she is awesome. (Original post)
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 OP
SheilaT Apr 2013 #1
PeaceNikki Apr 2013 #2
Gormy Cuss Apr 2013 #3
TheDebbieDee Apr 2013 #4

Response to PeaceNikki (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 11:59 AM

1. I'm old enough to recall when this happened.

 

The collective shock that a woman could run the distance was astonishing.

Personally, I tend to think anyone that wants to run that far is a little nuts, but I'm not about to argue that any category of people --such as women -- can't run the distance.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:30 PM

2. Reading her story inspired me. I just did a quick 5K through the trails



No way I could finish a full marathon without SERIOUS work but her story made me beam with womanly pride.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:40 PM

3. Katherine Switzer gets more attention than Bobbi Gibb, but yes I knew of her accomplishments

I didn't know until today that she had scupted statues for the medal finishers in the first Olympic women's marathon event.

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Response to PeaceNikki (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 01:05 PM

4. I had never heard of Bobbi Gibb! Thank you for bringing attention

 

to her contribution to womens atheletics and to Boston Marathon history. I will make sure that I share this info with my daughters, because if I don't share the story of Bobbi Gibb with them, who will?

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