April 18 2017
The energy is never higher than when runners make that final, historic turn off Hereford and onto Boylston.
The woman, the myth, the legend—Bobbi Gibb, the first female ever to run the Boston Marathon, joined the Women’s Running team in San Diego for a late afternoon shoot on Sunset Cliffs. Read the Feature: 50 Years Ago Bobbi Gibb Became The First Female Boston Marathon Finisher
The beautiful backdrop paled in comparison to Bobbi’s beautiful stride. Photographer John Segesta, who has worked with a number of Olympic athletes, said that Bobbi had perhaps the most perfect form he’d ever seen.
Just as Gibb has fractured stereotypes about women, she tests the current thinking about bodies as we age. At 73, Gibb still runs for at least an hour (or up to four) almost every day. “I’m not as fast as I used to be, but I can still go slowly and commune with nature,” she says. Gibb credits her continued athleticism to three things: 1) Clean living. “I don’t drink and I don’t smoke.” 2) A healthy diet. “A lot of fruits and vegetables.” 3) Running on soft surfaces. “I like to run in the woods and on the beach.”
Athletic options for women have transformed drastically since Bobbi completed Boston in a black bathing suit, long shorts and nurse’s shoes. On our cover, Bobbi wears Helly Hansen W Aspire Flex 1/2 Zip LS ($70, hellyhansen.com), Athleta Reptile Relay Capri ($74, athleta.com) and Brooks Neuro ($130, brooksrunning.com).
This spring marks 50 years since Bobbi became the first female to run all 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon. To commemorate the event, Bobbi has collaborated with Tracksmith to design a pair of shorts, inspired by the Bermuda-style ones she wore during her pioneer performance. The Massachusetts-based apparel brand is also reprinting Bobbi’s memoir, 'To Boston With Love,' with the proceeds funding the runner’s sculptures.
Bobbi treated the shoot as part work, part workout. As the crew huddled behind the trailer, snacking on peanut butter pretzels and hiding from the windy gusts whipping the cliffs, Bobbi kept warm by performing arm circles and skips along the soft sand.