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Boston Marathon History: 1966-1970

70th Boston Marathon - Tuesday, April 19, 1966

Once again the Japanese runners ran away from the field as they swept the first four places. Japanese champion and pre-race favorite Tooru Terasawa was upset by countryman Kenji Kimihara, who came from fourth in the last two miles to grab the victory wreath in 2:17:11. Although women would not be officially recognized until 1972, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run and successfully complete the race, finishing in 3:21:40.

Men's Top Results

1. Kenji Kimihara (JPN) 2:17:11
2. Seiichiro Sasaki (JPN) 2:17:34
3. Tooru Terasawa (JPN) 2:17:46
4. Hirokazu Okabe (JPN) 2:18:11
5. Norman Higgins (CA) 2:18:26
6. Dave Ellis (CAN) 2:19:47
7. Tom Laris (NY) 2:21:44
8. Bob Scharf (WA) 2:22:15
9. Ron Daws (MN) 2:24:47
10. Bong Nae Kim (KOR) 2:24:44

Unofficial Era of Women’s Participation

1. Roberta (Bobbi) Gibb (MA) 3:21:40


71st Boston Marathon - Wednesday, April 19, 1967

New Zealander Dave McKenzie led a record field of 601 starters while setting a course record of 2:15:45. Dartmouth College alumnus Tom Laris finished second with the fastest American time (2:16:48) over the Boston course to date. Bobbi Gibb was again the first woman (unofficial) in 3:27:17. The story of the day focused on Kathrine Switzer, who obtained a number by entering as “K. V. Switzer.” This did not sit well with the race officials. When John (Jock) Semple attempted to remove her number mid-race, he was cut down by Switzer’s burly boyfriend. Pictures of the incident were seen around the world.

Men's Top Results

1. Dave McKenzie (NZL) 2:15:45*
2. Tom Laris (NY) 2:16:48
3. Yutaki Aoki (JPN) 2:17:17
4. Louis Castagnola (DC) 2:17:48
5. Antonio Ambu (ITA) 2:18:04
6. Andrew Boychuk (CAN) 2:18:17
7. Takashi Inoue (JPN) 2:20:41
8. Tooru Terasawa (JPN) 2:21:17
9. Danny McFadzean (GBR) 2:22:06
10. Kalevi Ihaksi (FIN) 2:22:07

Unofficial Era of Women’s Participation

1. Roberta (Bobbi) Gibb (CA) 3:27:17
2. Kathrine Switzer (NY) 4:20:02


72nd Boston Marathon - Friday, April 19, 1968

Wesleyan University student Ambrose “Amby” Burfoot gave American runners their first victory in 11 years as the field grew to a record 900 runners. Burfoot, coached by former winner John J. Kelley, finished in 2:22:17 in the warm, 72-degree sunshine. Burfoot made his move against U.S. Marine William Clark over the final five miles to earn a 32-second victory. Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb (unofficial again) was the leading female finisher in 3:30:00. A total of three women finished the race this year. This also marked the final year the race was held on a day other than Monday. The following year, Patriots’ Day was designated to be celebrated on the third Monday in April.

Men's Top Results

1. Ambrose (Amby) Burfoot (CT) 2:22:17 
2. William Clark (VA) 2:22:49
3. Alfredo Penaloza (MEX) 2:25:06
4. Pablo Garrivo Lugo (MEX) 2:25:07
5. Ron Daws (MN). 2:29:17
6. Bob Deines (CA) 2:30:13
7. Jose Garcia Gaspar (MEX) 2:30:29
8. Mikko Ala-Leppilampi (FIN) 2:31:35
9. Danny McFadzean (GBR) 2:32:27
10. August Mulreke (NY) 2:34:15

Unofficial Era of Women’s Participation
1. Roberta (Bobbi) Gibb (CA) 3:30:00
2. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 3:45:00**
3. Marjorie Fish (USA) 4:45:00**


73rd Boston Marathon - Monday, April 21, 1969

The starting field topped the 1,000 mark for the first time (1,152), which led to the introduction of qualifying standards the following year. Japan once again raced to the forefront as Yoshiaki Unetani unleashed a superlative effort, taking down Dave McKenzie’s course record by nearly two minutes in 2:13:49. Unetani ran alone over the final nine miles as Mexican runners Pablo Garrivo Lugo (2:17:24) and Alfredo Penaloza (2:19:23) finished second and third, respectively. Three women - running unofficially - finished, led by Sara Mae Berman from Cambridge, in 3:22:46.

Men's Top Results

1. Yoshiaki Unetani (JPN) 2:13:49*
2. Pablo Garrivo Lugo (MEX) 2:17:24
3. Alfredo Penaloza (MEX) 2:19:23
4. Ron Daws (MN) 2:20:21
5. Bob Moore (CAN) 2:21:25
6. Bob Deines (CA) 2:22:46
7. Jose Garcia Gaspar (MEX) 2:23:12
8. Patrick McMahon (IRL) 2:23:21
9. Phil Hampton (GBR) 2:23:43
10. Penti Rummakko (FIN) 2:24:11

Unofficial Era of Women’s Participation

1. Sara Mae Berman (MA) 3:22:46
2. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 3:46:00**
3. Elaine Pederson (CA) 3:50:00**


74th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 20, 1970

On a rain-soaked, 44-degree day, Englishman Ron Hill demolished Unetani’s year-old mark with a stunning 2:10:30 course record. In the process, Georgetown alumnus Eamon O’Reilly lowered the American record to 2:11:12, which was also under Unetani’s previous mark of 2:13:49. The entry qualifying time of four hours (or the equivalent at shorter distances) only succeeded in reducing the field to 1,011 starters. Sara Mae Berman was again the first woman, in 3:05:07.

Men's Top Results

1. Ron Hill (GBR) 2:10:30*
2. Eamon O’Reilly (DC) 2:11:12+
3. Patrick McMahon (IRL) 2:14:53
4. Penti Rummakko (FIN) 2:14:59
5. Kalle Harkkaraainen (FIN) 2:19:42
6. Kenneth Moore (OR) 2:19:47
7. Bob Moore (CAN) 2:20:07
8. Andrew Boychuk (CAN) 2:21:06
9. William Clark (PA) 2:22:17
10. Wayne Yetman (CAN) 2:22:32

Unofficial Era of Women’s Participation

1. Sara Mae Berman (MA) 3:05:07
2. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 3:12:16
3. Sandra Zerrangi (USA) 3:30:00**
4. Diane Fournier (ME) 3:32:00**
5. Kathrine Switzer (NY) 3:34:00**


*Course Record
+American Record
**Approximate Time


B.A.A. Moment 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.