In 1966, Roberta Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon at a time when women were prohibited from doing it because they were considered “physiologically incompetent.”
Now, more than 55 years later, Gibb has broken another gender barrier by becoming the first woman of the race to stand out as a statue and placed on the Boston Marathon route.
Last week, “Running Girl” was introduced by the 26.2 Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes the marathon and is located in Hopkinton, Mass., where the race begins. was established in the city centre. The statue sits between the starting line and the spot where Gibb jumped into the race after hiding behind some bushes to avoid being seen or caught by the authorities, wearing a blue hooded sweatshirt to better conceal himself.
The 26.2 foundation has commissioned Gibb, who is educated at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and has a sculpture background, as creative.
“We thought this might be a symbol of all the female pioneers beyond running, who are making these breakthroughs as they have for centuries,” Gibb said.
The life-size, bronze sculpture depicts Gibb crossing the finish line, wearing a pair of brother’s Bermuda shorts, a swimsuit top, and a pair of men’s running shoes, causing his feet to blister disastrously. He shaped his face to reflect the pain and fatigue he felt from his feet.
“I didn’t glorify it or make it smooth — I made it a little harder, because that’s how you feel when you run a marathon,” Gibb said. “’Oh my God, my feet are killing me!’ I wanted it to look like that.”