Indigenous Guatemalan became first Boston Marathon champion from Latin America
Doroteo Flores, the first Central American winner of the Boston Marathon, has died at the age of 89.
On a scorching 88-degree day, Doroteo Flores of Guatemala survived the wretched conditions to win by almost five minutes in 2:31:53. Flores, a laborer in a Guatemala mill, took the lead from countryman Luis Velasquez near the 10-mile mark in Natick. Appearing undaunted by the oppressive heat and humidity, Flores breezed through the remainder of the route to finish ahead of American Victor Dyrgall.
“We regret the news we recently received on the passing of Mr. Doroteo Flores, of Guatemala, the Boston Marathon’s first Latin American champion in 1952,” said Tom Grilk, B.A.A. Executive Director. “Mr. Flores won that year’s race in 2:31:53 by nearly five minutes, which was an impressive victory on an unseasonably warm day. Mr. Flores returned to Boston on the occasion of the Boston Marathon several times after his victory and most recently in 2005 when the Boston Athletic Association celebrated his victory and he met fellow Boston Marathon champions. The victory by Mr. Flores at the Boston Marathon elevated his status in his home country, and he became an inspiration to generations of runners in Guatemala. We experience a sense of deep loss whenever a Boston Marathon champion passes because a victory at Boston immediately brings an individual into our family of champions, all of whom share the distinction and who become ambassadors for our event wherever their careers and personal lives take them.”