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Boston Marathon History: 1926-1930

30th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 19, 1926

A 20-year-old delivery boy, Johnny Miles of Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, upset Olympic champion Albin Stenroos of Finland and course recordholder Clarence H. DeMar. Miles ran in dogged pursuit of Stenroos, and finally caught the Olympic gold medalist at Boston College. Slowed by a side stitch, Stenroos could only watch as Miles darted past to victory in 2:25:40.

1. John C. Miles (CAN) 2:25:40
2. Albin Stenroos (FIN) 2:29:40
3. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:32:15
4. Albert R. Michelson (NY) 2:34:03
5. Wallie R. Carlson (MA) 2:40:35
6. Karl Koski (NY) 2:41:22
7. Nestor Erickson (NY) 2:42:35
8. William J. (Bill) Kennedy (NY) 2:44:01
9. J. Foxcraft Carleton (MA) 2:44:20
10. Arthur R. Scholes (CAN)2:48:14


31st Boston Marathon - Tuesday, April 19, 1927

Although the course was finally lengthened to the full marathon distance of 26 miles, 385 yards, the finish was familiar as Clarence H. DeMar claimed his fifth title in 2:40:22, a new course record. Just shy of his 39th birthday and running in 82-degree heat, DeMar led at every checkpoint along the course. Johnny Miles, the defending champion, was forced to withdraw from the race at seven miles, suffering from the heat. This year’s race served as the Amateur Athletics Union (AAU) championship.

1. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:40:22*
2. Karl Koski (NY) 2:44:41
3. William J. (Bill) Kennedy (NY) 2:51:58
4. Clifford Bricker (CAN) 3:00:54
5. Carl W. A. Linder (MA) 3:02:21
6. Edouard Fabre (CAN) 3:06:12
7. Harvey Frick (NY) 3:07:10
8. Thomas Bury (MA) 3:12:33
9. Frank DiMaggio (MA) 3:14:57
10. George Duncan (MA) 3:17:46


32nd Boston Marathon - Thursday, April 19, 1928

Aggressive racing by Clarence H. DeMar once again resulted in back-to-back victories and his sixth win as the field grew to 285 entrants. DeMar took over in Natick, 10 miles into the race, with Philadelphia’s Bill Wilson nipping at his heels until 18.5 miles. DeMar slowly pulled away, and crossed the line in 2:37:07, while celebrated miler Joie W. Ray finished third.

1. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:37:07*
2. James P. Henigan (MA) 2:41:01
3. Joie W. Ray (IL) 2:41:56
4. J. K. Mullan (PA) 2:46:54
5. Harvey Frick (NY) 2:48:28
6. Carl W. A. Linder (MA) 2:50:13
7. William Wilson (PA) 2:51:02
8. Leo Giard (MA) 2:51:11
9. Charles E. Cahill (MA) 2:52:02
10. Silas McLellan (CAN) 2:52:56


33rd Boston Marathon - Friday, April 19, 1929

Johnny Miles, the 1926 champion, returned with a new course-record performance of 2:33:08. The 23-year-old Miles, who did not participate in the 1928 race to concentrate on the Olympic Games, waged a tough battle with Albert R. Michelson from miles 13 through 23 before pulling away on Beacon Street. Finnish runners Karl Koski and Willie Kyronen closed fast to catch Michelson in the final miles.

1. John C. Miles (CAN) 2:33:08*
2. Karl Koski (NY) 2:35:26
3. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:35:44
4. Albert R. Michelson (NY) 2:37:22
5. Jack Lamb (MA) 2:39:25
6. William Taylor (CAN) 2:40:05
7. Gabriel Ruotsalainen (CAN) 2:41:06
8. Ronald B. O’Toole (CAN) 2:43:07
9. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:43:47
10. Fred Ward, Jr. (NY) 2:44:13


34th Boston Marathon - Saturday, April 19, 1930

Clarence H. DeMar chalked up his seventh and final victory in 2:34:48 on a hot and humid afternoon. At age 41, DeMar became the oldest runner ever to win Boston. After following pacesetter Hans Oldag of Buffalo, New York, for 16 miles, DeMar asserted himself with a powerful surge through the Newton hills. He slowed in the final miles, thereby losing his bid for a course record, but easily finished ahead of runner-up Willie Kyronen.

1. Clarence H. DeMar (MA) 2:34:48
2. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:36:27
3. Karl Koski (NY) 2:38:21
4. Harold Webster (CAN) 2:39:27
5. Gabriel Ruotsalainen (CAN) 2:41:05
6. Ronald B. O’Toole (CAN) 2:41:55
7. John D. (Jock) Semple (SCO) 2:44:29
8. James P. Henigan (MA) 2:46:38
9. Silas McLellan (CAN) 2:50:49
10. Gordon A. Norman (MA) 2:53:17


*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.