The first woman to complete the Boston Marathon will serve as the grand marshal of this year’s race, the Boston Athletic Association announced Tuesday.
Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb finished the race as an unregistered runner in 1966 when women were still barred competing in the race from Hopkinton to Boston. This year marks the 50th year of women participating in the marathon, though the BAA did not recognize women as official marathon competitors until 1972.
“Gibb changed the course of running history five decades ago, setting the stage for generations to come,” said Joann Flaminio, president of the BAA, in a news release.
More than 14,000 women are registered to run this year’s race on April 18.
Gibb completed the 1966 race in 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 40 seconds, though it was not recognized as an official finish. She returned the following two years and was the first woman to finish both years.
Gibb will ride in the pace car during the 2016 race.