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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 2

1935 John A. Kelley

Born in West Medford, Massachusetts as one of ten children, Kelley ran track and cross-country at Arlington High School in Massachusetts. He did not finish his first Boston Marathon in 1928, but eventually competed in a record 61 Boston Marathons. A legend of the marathon, Kelley won the 1935 and 1945 runnings of the Boston Marathon. He finished in second place at Boston a record seven times. Between 1934 to 1950, he finished in the top five 15 times at Boston, consistently running in the 2:30s. He ran his last full marathon at Boston in 1992 at the age of 84, his 61st start and 58th finish there.