Awards recognizing service and achievement in the sport of running
The Bill Rodgers Jingle Bell Run, presented by the Boston Athletic Association is this Sunday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. Runners will assemble at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Crossing before the 2.3 mile fun run and wind their way through the Boston Common and the financial district before returning to the Downtown Crossing area for the post-race party at the Hyatt. As is the tradition at the Bill Rodgers Jingle Bell Run, holiday dress and costumes will be in full-form among the field of more than 1,000 runners.
About the Semple and Cloney Awards:
Will Cloney and Jock Semple were longtime caretakers of the B.A.A.’s athletic and administrative efforts. In their honor, the B.A.A. and brothers Bill and Charlie Rodgers bestow awards upon worthy local recipients. The Cloney Award is presented to an individual who has promoted the running industry, especially locally. The Semple Award is presented annually to a local athlete who has made an impact within running, especially through performance.
Both awards will be presented by four-time Boston Marathon champion and running legend Bill Rodgers, along with representatives of the B.A.A. before the start of the Bill Rodgers Jingle Bell Run.
Will Cloney Award – John Powers
John Powers has worked for the Boston Globe since 1973, writing for the Sports, Metro, Sunday Magazine and Living departments. He shared the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for a special Globe magazine on the nuclear arms race. As part of his international sports beat, he has covered the Olympic Games since 1976 as well as five soccer World Cups and has written stories from five continents. He has covered the Boston Marathon for the better part of four decades.
Powers is the author of seven books: The Short Season (a Boston Celtics diary), One Goal (with Art Kaminsky, on the 1980 US Olympic hockey team), Yankees (with George Sullivan, a club history), Mary Lou (with Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton, an autobiography), Seasons to Remember (with Curt Gowdy, a memoir) and The Boston Dictionary and The Boston Handbook (humorous lexicons with illustrator Peter Wallace). His eighth book, a Fenway Park history co-authored with Ron Driscoll, will be published next year.
Powers, a cum laude 1970 graduate of Harvard and a former Poynter Fellow at Yale, lives in Wellesley, Mass. with his wife Elaine.
Jock Semple Award – Bobbi Gibb
Roberta Louise "Bobbi" Gibb was born in Cambridge, MA and in 1966 became the first official woman to finish the Boston Marathon. She is recognized by the B.A.A. as the pre-sanctioned era women’s winner in 1966, 1967, and 1968. Gibb’s run in 1966 challenged prevalent prejudices and misconceptions about women's athletic capabilities.
Gibb studied at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University School of Special Studies. Her early running included daily commuting of the eight miles to school. She ran in white leather Red Cross nurses' shoes because there were no running shoes available for women at the time.
Gibb received her B.S. degree from the University of California, in 1969, fulfilling the pre-medical requirements, with a major in philosophy and a minor in mathematics. She has reported she was denied admission to medical school because of her gender. She went on to earn her law degree in 1978.
Gibb has been included in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who in the World. In 1982 she was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America Long Distance Running Hall of Fame, and she has been interviewed for news programs and documentaries on ABC, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and HBO. She was included in the 1999 HBO Sports documentary Dare to Compete: The Struggle of Women in Sports. In 2000, she produced a documentary on her art and running entitled Where the Spirit Leads. She pursues a career in art and writes on a wide range of topics including economics, spirituality, the nature of natural systems, and the phenomenon of subjective experience. Recently she joined the Cecil B. Day Neuromuscular Laboratory, in Boston, as an associate working to find the causes of and cures for neurodegenerative diseases, specifically amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.