The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, the First Women to Run the Boston Marathon

by Frances Poletti, Susanna Chapman, and Kristina Yee

The first time Bobbi Gibb watches as hundreds of runners stream along the streets... read more

The first time Bobbi Gibb watches as hundreds of runners stream along the streets during the Boston Marathon, she knows she wants to join them. Bobbi has always loved running; she savors the solitude and the sound of the wind in her ears. But it’s 1966, and women aren’t allowed to register for the Boston Marathon. In fact, women are not supposed to run at all, and Bobbi’s parents agree. Run a marathon? How “silly” and “unladylike!” Bobbi might hurt herself! Now Bobbi is more determined than ever. She knows she can do this. She trains in secret and dons men’s clothing for the big race, hoping to run undetected. To her surprise, when the secret gets out midway through her route, Bobbi is met with the cheers of spectators and fellow runners. With their encouragement and the endurance she gained during her training, Bobbi completes all 26.2 miles. Although her race is over, the journey of women in running has just begun, and soon others will follow in Bobbi’s footsteps. A timeline detailing milestones in women’s marathons follows the story. (Ages 4-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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