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Boston Marathon History: 1906-1910

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The race had its youngest winner ever and closest finish to date as Cambridge's 18-year-old Timothy Ford's time of 2:45:45, was a scant six seconds better than Roxbury's Dave Kneeland. Ford was a post entry, the last on the list of 86 starters. At first, race officials rejected him as an entrant because he had not submitted an application. One mile from the finish, Ford caught the 24-year-old Kneeland and edged ahead. Again, Sammy Mellor was among the leaders for 13 miles before being overtaken by Kneeland and others at Wellesley Hills.


Tom Longboat, an Onandaga Indian from Hamilton, Ontario, established a course record in his only Boston appearance, winning in 2:24:24. Longboat and Bostonian James Lee established a brisk early pace that led a contingent of six runners past the railroad crossing in South Framingham. Once past, a freight train blocked the path of the remaining runners in the field and they were forced to mark time until the train had passed. Longboat survived the sleet and driving rain this day as well as a brief challenge from fellow Canadian Rink Patch on the early portion of the Newton hills. American Johnny Hayes, who would go on to win the 1908 Olympic Marathon, finished third.


New Yorker Tom Morrissey edged Johnny Hayes in a great battle that left only 21 seconds between the two at the finish and saw the first five runners all finish within two minutes of each other. Morrissey finished in 2:25:43. Under a bleak sky and accompanied by snow, an early pace was set by Arthur McDonald and New England 10-mile champion Roy Whelton from Lawrence, Massachusetts. Morrissey overtook third-place finisher Bob Fowler after Cleveland Circle and Hayes came on strong to capture second in 2:26:04.


A record field of 164 runners was beset with excruciatingly hot race conditions as the temperature reached 97 degrees at race time. The intolerable conditions forced 91 runners to abandon hopes of finishing. As many as nine runners held the lead through the first 20 miles, including Hopi Indian Lewis Tewanina. But it was New Hampshire mill hand Henri Renaud who prevailed in 2:53:36. He passed through Framingham in 53rd place, and, with two miles remaining, passed a weary Harry Jensen from New York. Only Renaud was able to keep running without stopping over the final miles.


Fred Cameron from Amherst, Nova Scotia, stole the race in 2:28:52 by slipping out front early and never being seriously challenged. This race marked the first appearance of the legendary Clarence H. DeMar, who made a late rush over the final half of the race to place second, one minute behind Cameron. DeMar would go on to win this race a record seven times. Defending champion Henri Renaud was 24th, while 1902 winner Sammy Mellor finished 34th.

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B.A.A. Moment 3

1966 - Bobbi Gibb

Although not an official entrant, Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Joining the starting field shortly after the gun had been fired, Gibb finished the race in 3:21:40 to place 126th overall. Gibb again claimed the “unofficial” title in 1967 and 1968.