1st woman to finish Boston Marathon named Grand Marshal

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The elite runners of the 100th Boston Marathon leave the starting line after the firing of the starters gun in Hopkinton, MA, 15 April. The Boston Marathon is the oldest consecutively run marathon in the world. (Photo by BRUCE ALLEN/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON, Mass. — The first woman to complete the Boston Marathon will be the Grand Marshal of next month’s race.

The Boston Athletic Association said Thursday that Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb was selected to mark the 50th anniversary of her pioneering run.

Gibb, a Massachusetts native living in California at the time, was 23 years old in 1966 when she hid in the bushes near the starting line and jumped into the all-male pack of runners. Women were not accepted as entrants then.

Gibb was also the top female finisher in 1967 and ’68. It wasn’t until 1972 that the marathon accepted female runners.

The 120th Boston Marathon is April 18. As Grand Marshal, Gibb will ride in a pace car ahead of the runners.