Dave McKenzie and Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Gibb Named Grand Marshals of the 2017 Boston Marathon

On 50th anniversary of 1967 race, McKenzie and Gibb to lead 30,000 participants from Hopkinton to Boston

BOSTON – The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that the top men’s and women’s finishers of the 1967 Boston Marathon, Dave McKenzie and Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Gibb, will be Co-Grand Marshals of the 2017 Boston Marathon® on Monday, April 17. The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world, and is traditionally held on Patriots’ Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Dave McKenzie of New Zealand famously won the 1967 Boston Marathon in a course record time of 2:15:45, bettering the previous mark of 2:16:33 that stood for two years. Despite freezing rain and cold conditions, McKenzie ran tough through 16 miles before making his winning move. Reaching the finish on Boylston Street, McKenzie became the first – and currently the only – man from New Zealand to earn the title of Boston Marathon champion. In the years following his Boston win, McKenzie would represent his country twice at the Olympic Games. He finished 37th in the 1968 Olympic Marathon in Mexico City and 22nd at the 1972 Olympic Marathon in Munich.

Also in 1967, Roberta ‘Bobbi’ Gibb completed the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton to Boston in 3:27:17. For three consecutive years from 1966 through 1968, Gibb was the first woman to finish the Boston Marathon. Gibb returns to Boston as Grand Marshal, a title she also held last year on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her pioneering run as the first woman ever to complete the race.

The B.A.A. has reserved the Grand Marshal role as a position of recognition and honor. Recent Grand Marshals include Team Hoyt’s Rick and Dick Hoyt in 2015 and four-time champion Bill Rodgers in 2014.  

“It is a true honor to welcome both Dave McKenzie and Bobbi Gibb back to Boston as Grand Marshals of the 121st Boston Marathon,” said Tom Grilk, Chief Executive Officer of the B.A.A. “Five decades ago, Dave ran his way into the record books and Bobbi propelled the women’s Pioneer Era forward. Both have truly cemented their place in Boston Marathon history.”

The 121st running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 17, 2017, and John Hancock Financial is the Principal Sponsor for the 32nd consecutive year.