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Boston Marathon History: 1921-1925

25th Boston Marathon - Tuesday, April 19, 1921

New Jersey plumber Frank T. Zuna recorded the victory with a powerful 2:18:57 performance, upsetting defending champion Peter Trivoulidas, who finished third. Zuna and eventual second-place finisher Chuck Mellor formed a two-member lead pack through 16 miles. Zuna surged on the first of the Newton hills, and ran uncontested to the finish.

1. Frank T. Zuna (NJ) 2:18:57*
2. Charles L. (Chuck) Mellor (IL) 2:22:12
3. Peter Trivoulidas (GRE) 2:27:41
4. Carl W. A. Linder (MA) 2:28:02
5. Albert R. Michelson (CT) 2:30:35
6. Edouard Fabre (CAN) 2:31:34
7. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:32:36
8. Otto J. Laakso (NY) 2:33:39
9. John Goff (NY) 2:37:35
10. Robert Conboy (NY) 2:38:18


26th Boston Marathon - Wednesday, April 19, 1922

Clarence H. DeMar, who captured his first title in 1911, added his second crown and officially commenced his reign of dominance. From 1922 to 1930, DeMar would win the race six times, including a string of three straight wins (1922–24). Medford’s James P. Henigan battled DeMar from miles seven through 20, but DeMar was able to pull away on the downhill past Boston College, where Henigan dropped out.

1. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:18:10
2. Willie Ritola (NY) 2:21:44
3. Albert Smoke (CAN) 2:22:49
4. Victor MacAuley (CAN) 2:24:02
5. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:24:42
6. Otto J. Laakso (NY) 2:24:45
7. Carl W. A. Linder (MA) 2:25:29
8. Frank T. Zuna (NY) 2:26:26
9. Harvey Frick (NY) 2:28:16
10. Edouard Fabre (CAN) 2:29:00


27th Boston Marathon - Thursday, April 19, 1923

This was the second of Clarence H. DeMar’s three consecutive wins (2:23:47) and the last race at the 24.5-mile distance (which was abandoned in favor of the standard 26-mile, 385-yard Olympic distance). After taking the lead from Albert R. Michelson at Cleveland Circle, DeMar held off the late challenge of 1921 winner Frank T. Zuna. Wallie R. Carlson of Chicago closed fast over the latter stages of the race to finish third, ahead of the fading Michelson.

1. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:23:47
2. Frank T. Zuna (NY) 2:25:30
3. Wallie R. Carlson (IL) 2:27:10
4. Albert R. Michelson (CT) 2:28:27
5. Gunnar Nilson (NY) 2:29:40
6. Nestor Erickson (NY) 2:29:46
7. Carl W. A. Linder (MA) 2:30:03
8. William J. (Bill) Kennedy (NY) 2:33:47
9. Joseph Conto (NY) 2:38:20
10. Arthur L. Flanders (MA) 2:40:41


28th Boston Marathon - Saturday, April 19, 1924

Completing a three-year sweep, Clarence H. DeMar (2:29:40) simply outran the field and finished more than five minutes ahead of Chuck Mellor. The race course was lengthened to what was thought to be 26 miles, 385 yards, in order to comply with the standard Olympic Marathon distance. However, upon remeasuring in 1927, the course was found to be 197 yards short of the official distance.

1. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:29:40*
2. Charles L. (Chuck) Mellor (IL) 2:35:04
3. Frank E. Wendling (NY) 2:37:40
4. William J. Churchill (CA) 2:37:05
5. Carl W. A. Linder (MA) 2:40:12
6. Victor MacAuley (CAN) 2:40:36
7. Ralph A. Williams (MA) 2:41:58
8. William J. (Bill) Kennedy (NY) 2:43:03
9. Louis Tikkanen (NY) 2:46:31
10. Sporos N. Merageas (NY) 2:50:49


29th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 20, 1925

Chuck Mellor of Chicago succeeded in his fifth Boston attempt, winning the race in 2:33:00 and spoiling Clarence H. DeMar’s bid for a fourth consecutive title. Running with a wad of tobacco tucked inside his cheek and the morning edition of the Boston Globe placed inside the front of his shirt to serve as a windbreaker, Mellor finally pulled away from DeMar on Beacon Street, within two miles of the finish.

1. Charles L. (Chuck) Mellor (IL) 2:33:00
2. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:33:37
3. Frank T. Zuna (NJ) 2:35:35
4. Albert R. Michelson (NY) 2:37:22
5. Karl Koski (NY) 2:39:26
6. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:40:36
7. Victor MacAuley (CAN) 2:42:14
8. Nestor Erickson (NY) 2:43:08
9. William J. (Bill) Kennedy (NY) 2:43:46
10. Frank E. Wendling (NY) 2:48:59


*Course Record


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.