The Boston Marathon means so much to so many people around the world providing a symbol of hope and unity – as well as thrill of victory for those daring to cross the finish line. It is truly hard to believe there was a time when huge restrictions were in place and women were not allowed to compete on the historic 26.2 mile course – from Hopkinton to Boston (that officially changed in 1972).
Today, the race is a win-win – with just one exception. There are many plaques and statuary tributes honoring inspiring male athletes who have run the race -- and rightly so -- but none to date recognizing women’s efforts. That is why we are currently fundraising to erect the first-ever, life-sized statue of a pioneering woman runner to be placed near the start line at the corner of Hayden Rowe Street across from the town common in Hopkinton.
The “Bobbi Gibb Marathon Sculpture Project” is being coordinated by the 26.2 Foundation -- a Hopkinton-based, 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization (more details at web site: www.26-2.org). In 1966, Gibb popped out from behind forsythia bushes in Hopkinton to become the first woman to run Boston. She along with the great Kathrine Switzer as well as other female running heroes past and present (some seen in pics) -- all have helped pave the way for women runners like myself who now have full opportunity to compete either as qualifiers or fundraisers. In fact today nearly 50% of the field are female athletes.
Would you kindly consider making a donation today of any amount to this grassroots fundraising effort? The fundraising period runs now through end of October -- and all donors will be recognized publicly for support at the time of the marathon.
This is a great one-time chance to be a part of history by helping to erect a life-sized beautiful piece of art honoring the strength of women’s sports that will be admired by generations for years to come. BTW -- the overall goal is to raise $26,200 with any residual funds going toward a women’s exhibition fund at a new marathon museum currently being planned by the 26.2 Foundation.
Thank you again kindly for your consideration and support. When the project's completed in the spring, you will be happy you helped establish this great enduring legacy.
Joy Donohue / Hopkinton, Mass.
On behalf of the 26.2 Foundation