When 23-year-old Roberta Gibb tried to register for the 1966 Boston Marathon, her rejection letter was short and to the point: "This is an AAU Men's Division race only," wrote race director Will Cloney. "Women aren't allowed, and furthermore are not physiologically able." In fact, race regulations didn't allow women to compete in any race longer than 1.5 miles. Gibb was outraged. "I could run 30 miles at a stretch!" she told Competitor Magazine. Instead of getting discouraged, she decided to run the marathon anyway.
The day of the race, she hid in the bushes, waited for enough runners to pass, and broke out into a run. According to Runner's World, "from Hopkinton to Boston, to her amazement, Gibb didn't encounter a single hostile moment. Some onlookers cheered: 'Attaway, girlie, you can do it!'" She finished in 3:21:40, among the top third of the male finishers.