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Boston Marathon History: 1931-1935

35th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 20, 1931

Medford milkman James P. Henigan enjoyed his long-awaited victory in his 10th Boston attempt with a time of 2:46:45. Henigan, one of the nation’s leading cross-country and 10-mile runners, had finished second in 1928 but had dropped out in eight of his nine prior attempts. He spent much of the day dueling with Canada’s Dave Komonen, before taking control in the hills and racing uncontested over the final miles.

1. James P. Henigan (MA) 2:46:45
2. Fred Ward, Jr. (NY) 2:49:03
3. Karl Koski (NY) 2:53:27
4. David Fagerlund (NY) 2:53:41
5. Clarence H. DeMar (NH) 2:55:46
6. Percy Wyer (CAN) 2:56:01
7. Dave Komonen (CAN) 2:58:31
8. Paul De Bruyn (GER) 2:59:09
9. Gordon A. Norman (MA) 3:03:33
10. John C. Miles (CAN) 3:04:56


36th Boston Marathon - Tuesday, April 19, 1932

Paul De Bruyn, a 24-year-old former sailor in the German navy, outraced defending champion James P. Henigan on Beacon Street to win in 2:33:36. The 39-year-old Henigan, who crossed the line just 56 seconds behind De Bruyn, followed the record-setting pace of Canada’s John McLeod. Blisters caused McLeod to falter entering Cleveland Circle, and set the stage for the stretch run between De Bruyn and Henigan.

1. Paul De Bruyn (GER) 2:33:36
2. James P. Henigan (MA) 2:34:32
3. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:34:55
4. Albert R. Michelson (NY) 2:36:23
5. William Steiner (NY) 2:38:46
6. Alex Burnside (CAN) 2:39:42
7. Earle L. Collins (MA) 2:40:59
8. Leslie S. Pawson (RI) 2:41:36
9. Eddy Cudworth (CAN) 2:42:32
10. John D. (Jock) Semple (SCO) 2:43:07


37th Boston Marathon - Wednesday, April 19, 1933

Pawtucket, Rhode Island, mill weaver Leslie S. Pawson scored the first of his three Boston wins with a convincing 2:31:01 record performance despite a strong headwind. Pawson grabbed the lead from New Yorker John DeGloria on the first of the Newton hills and went on to win by almost five-and-a-half minutes over Canada’s Dave Komonen.

1. Leslie S. Pawson (RI) 2:31:01*
2. Dave Komonen (CAN) 2:36:27
3. Richard Wilding (CAN) 2:38:00
4. Harold Webster (CAN) 2:38:31
5. Willie Kyronen (NY) 2:39:50
6. Albert R. Michelson (NY) 2:40:27
7. Walter T. Hornby (CAN) 2:41:32
8. Clarence H. DeMar (NH) 2:43:18
9. John DeGloria (NY) 2:43:20
10. Hugo Kauppinen (NY) 2:46:01


38th Boston Marathon - Thursday, April 19, 1934

Finnish-born cobbler Dave Komonen of Ontario prepared for the race by making his own running shoes. Heavily favored in an anticipated duel with defender Leslie S. Pawson, Komonen took the lead from New York’s William Steiner at 13 miles and Pawson dropped out two miles later. The next eight miles saw the emergence of a young runner, a florist’s assistant from Arlington by the name of John A. Kelley. The local lad exchanged the lead with Komonen several times before the Canadian pulled ahead for good at Cleveland Circle en route to a 2:32:53 victory. This was the first of Kelley’s seven second-place finishes at Boston.

1. Dave Komonen (CAN) 2:32:53
2. John A. Kelley (MA) 2:36:50
3. William Steiner (NY) 2:40:29
4. Alex Burnside (CAN) 2:44:32
5. Karl Koski (NY) 2:44:52
6. Gordon A. Norman (MA) 2:45:00
7. William F. McMahon (MA) 2:45:19
8. Percy Wyer (CAN) 2:46:06
9. David Fagerlund (NY) 2:48:08
10. William P. Molloy (MA) 2:48:56


39th Boston Marathon - Friday, April 19, 1935

Runner-up the previous year, Johnny Kelley roared to an impressive first-place finish in 2:32:07. Kelley took the lead in Wellesley, while defender Dave Komonen dropped out shortly thereafter. On his way to a two-minute, four-second victory over Pat Dengis of Maryland, Kelley stopped briefly one mile from the finish in Kenmore Square, overcome with nausea. He ran the final mile to victory.

1. John A. Kelley (MA) 2:32:07
2. Pat Dengis (MD) 2:34:11
3. Richard Wilding (CAN) 2:39:50
4. Gordon A. Norman (MA) 2:40:57
5. Hugo Kauppinen (NY) 2:44:33
6. Earle L. Collins (MA) 2:44:39
7. Joseph W. Plouffe (RI) 2:44:57
8. Fred Ward, Jr. (NY) 2:46:08
9. Vic Callard (CAN) 2:46:51
10. Andre J. Brunelle (MA) 2:47:23


* Course Record


B.A.A. Moment


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