Who Won The Women’s Boston Marathon

As an avid runner and sports enthusiast, one event that I always look forward to is the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is not only the oldest marathon in the world, but it is also one of the most prestigious races in the running community. Every year, thousands of runners from all over the globe gather in Boston to test their limits and push themselves to the finish line.

One particular aspect of the Boston Marathon that I find inspiring is the women’s race. Over the years, female runners have made significant strides in the field of long-distance running, and the Boston Marathon has been a platform for many remarkable achievements by women. In this article, we will explore and celebrate the incredible women who have won the Boston Marathon.

The Early Years: Bobbi Gibb

In 1966, Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon. At that time, women were not officially allowed to participate in the race, but Gibb defied the odds and joined the race as an unofficial entrant. She ran the entire marathon distance, finishing in an impressive time of 3 hours and 21 minutes. Gibb’s groundbreaking achievement paved the way for future generations of female runners.

Achieving Recognition: Kathrine Switzer

Just a year after Bobbi Gibb’s historic run, Kathrine Switzer decided to officially register for the Boston Marathon in 1967. However, at that time, the race officials did not allow women to participate. Switzer courageously entered the race using her initials, K.V. Switzer, to disguise her gender. Midway through the race, one of the officials realized that Switzer was a woman and tried to physically remove her from the course. Despite this, Switzer persevered and completed the race, demonstrating the strength and determination of female athletes.

Switzer’s defiance sparked a new era for women’s participation in the Boston Marathon and eventually led to the official acceptance of women in the race starting in 1972. Her legacy continues to inspire women in the running community worldwide.

Breaking Records: Joan Benoit Samuelson

In 1979, Joan Benoit Samuelson made history by becoming the first woman to win the Boston Marathon. She finished the race in an impressive time of 2 hours, 35 minutes, and 15 seconds. Samuelson’s victory not only marked a significant milestone for women’s running but also set a new course record for female runners.

Samuelson’s remarkable athletic accomplishments did not end there. In 1984, she went on to win the inaugural women’s marathon at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, solidifying her status as one of the greatest long-distance runners of all time. She continues to inspire runners of all genders and ages to this day.

Recent Champions

Since Samuelson’s victory, numerous talented women have won the Boston Marathon, each leaving their mark on the race’s history. Notable recent champions include:

  • Rita Jeptoo from Kenya, who won the race three times consecutively from 2013 to 2015
  • Desiree Linden, the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in 33 years in 2018
  • Worknesh Degefa, who took home the title in 2019, becoming the first Ethiopian woman to win since 2010

These women, along with many others, have continued to push the boundaries of women’s long-distance running and inspire future generations of female runners.


The women’s Boston Marathon has been a showcase of talent, determination, and breaking barriers. From the early pioneers like Bobbi Gibb and Kathrine Switzer to the record-breakers like Joan Benoit Samuelson and the recent champions, each woman who has crossed the finish line has played a crucial role in shaping the history of women’s running. Their stories are a testament to the power of perseverance and the limitless potential of women in sports.

As I reflect on the incredible achievements of these remarkable women, I am filled with admiration and inspiration to lace up my running shoes and hit the pavement. The women’s Boston Marathon is not just a race; it is a platform for empowerment, equality, and the celebration of the indomitable spirit of female athletes.