The 2016 Boston Marathon marked the 50th anniversary of the moment trailblazer Bobbi Gibb—decked in a bathing suit and Bermuda shorts—turned right on Hereford and left on Boylston to be the very first woman to ever finish the race.
If you have ever considered running a marathon, you understand how daunting this proposition can be. First-time questions flood your brain: How do I start? What plan should I use? Do I need to change my diet?
Now imagine you would like to train for a marathon—but answers to your queries are impossible to find. There is no Internet to search for training plans; there is no running store to ask for tips; there are no race nutrition books available. Furthermore, the biggest question isn’t whether you will finish, but quite literally: If you try, will you survive?
This is the scenario Bobbi Gibb faced when she made up her mind in 1964 to run the Boston Marathon. At the time, prevailing wisdom was that if a female attempted to cover this distance, she would likely die in the process. But Gibb harbored an unshakable self-belief—and she knew she had to try. In her own words, here is Gibb’s incredible story of her two-year journey—one that took her across the country and back again before she became the very first woman to cross the Boston Marathon’s finish line.
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