Sunday, January 16, 2022

Boston Marathon pioneer Gloria Ratti remembered as ‘First Lady of our sport’

Boston Marathon pioneer, leader and historian Gloria Ratti died at the weekend after a battle with cancer, the Boston Athletic Association announced when the New England running community mourned the loss. She was 90.

The South Boston resident’s involvement in the annual April race spanned five decades of various roles, from timing and control pioneer to event historian, vice president and secretary of the BAA Board of Governors.

Those in the New England running community remember Ratti’s charm, wit, and infectious positivity that touched thousands — from women pioneers to Boston Marathon champions and event organizers.

“Gloria was essentially the first lady of our sport, no matter where she went,” said Guy Morse, former BAA executive director, review leader in Boston Marathon and Ratti’s colleague for decades. ‘From champions to ordinary runners, Gloria personally cared for everyone and represented the human side of running.

“It was her mission to make the Boston Marathon more than a one-day event,” Morse said. “She strived to make it a personal experience for so many people. She did, but was also the moral authority that helps push the entire organization forward. ‘

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