Joan Benoit Samuelson and a long list of Boston Marathon champions have united to form the Bobbi Gibb Marathon Sculpture Project.
The project’s goal is to raise funds to erect a sculpture of Gibb on the Boston Marathon course. In 1966, Gibb popped out from behind forsythia bushes in Hopkinton to become the first woman to run Boston.
“As the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon, Bobbi Gibb opened up the door for all of us who followed,” notes Samuelson, a two-time Boston champ and winner of the first Olympic Marathon for women in 1984. “Without her courage and determination, we might never have gained the chance.”
Women’s running supporters
The Bobbi Gibb Marathon Sculpture Project is raising funds from many sources, but primarily from modest donations by women’s running supporters worldwide. Donate to the fund to build the Sculpture online at 26.2 Foundation via PayPal or via check to:
P.O. Box 820
Hopkinton, MA 01748
The Gibb marathon sculpture will actually be created by Gibb herself. She is an accomplished painter and sculptor who studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the mid-1960s--at the same time that she began running longer distances. “For 50 years, it has been my dream to sculpt a life-size woman runner to represent all the powerful women who have run Boston since 1966,” says Gibb.
Recognizing the Boston Marathon’s great women runners
The Bobbi Gibb Marathon Sculpture Project will be coordinated by the 26.2 Foundation, a Hopkinton-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has helped install other marathon statues in and around Hopkinton--all statues of male officials or runners. “We believe it is long past time to recognize the Boston Marathon’s great women runners,” says Tim Kilduff, of the 26.2 Foundation. “The fact that Boston’s first woman runner is also a great sculptor makes this project absolutely unique and appropriate."
In addition to Samuelson, Olympic Marathon medalists Frank Shorter, Deena Kastor, and Meb Keflezighi have all volunteered to serve on the Advisory Committee. The list of Boston Marathon winners follows:
Sara Mae Berman, 1969, 1970, 1971
Nina Kuscsik, 1972 (first official women’s champ at Boston)
Jackie Hansen, 1973
Gayle Barron, 1978
Jacqueline Gareau, 1980
Lisa Weidenbach Rainsberger, 1985
Amby Burfoot, 1968
Bill Rodgers, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980
Jack Fultz, 1976
Greg Meyer, 1983
Meb Keflezighi, 2014
You can show your support for this effort in one of several ways: