MARATHONETTE STEALS SHOW
Sour grapes replaced beef stew on the B.A.A. menu Wednesday. It was quite apparent that a pretty young bride's conquest of the grueling B.A.A. Marathon course previously an all-male domain – wasn't sitting well on the stomachs of race officials.
"She may have run in a road race but she did not race in the B.A.A. Marathon," declared Will Cloney, the director.
There are some 200,000 persons – spectators who witnessed the 70th running Tuesday – who will contest his statement in support of Mrs. Roberta Gigg Bingay, 23, of Sargent Rd., Winchester.
And Roberta, too, was ready to dispute Cloney's charge.
"That's not true. I did run in the race. It makes me very irritated to have to prove that I ran. If you don't believe me, ask the runners who saw me. Or ask the spectators who were cheering me," she said.
We don't have to, Roberta. An alert Record American reporter, Dan McLaughlin, paced you most of the race.
Cloney also stated, "I have no idea of this woman running. She was not at any of our checkpoints and none of our checkers saw her. For all I know she could have jumped in at Kenmore Square."
Cloney's climactic statement was, "There is no such thing as a marathon for women."
Roberta has changed all that. She even outdistanced half the 415 entrants to invade a man's sporting realm.
Although somewhat footsore Wednesday – she had used the marathon to break in a new pair of track shoes – Roberta, the wife of a sailor stationed in San Diego, was back acting like Mr. Cloney probably felt she should have 24 hours earlier.
She spent the day visiting friends. She conceded she wasn't an official entrant, as did her mother, wife of Tufts Chemistry Professor Thomas R. P. Gibb.
But they both knew she had conquered the B.A.A. Marathon. That was sufficient for them. Roberta now will prepare to return to classes at UCLA where she is majoring in biology and assume the role of a housewife.
It's doubtful that beef stew – the traditional reward from the B.A.A. for Marathon finishers – will be a feature on the Bingay table.
Boston Herald American, April 21, 1966