Presented By:John Hancock Logo

Boston Marathon History: 1946-1950

« Previous 5 years    Next 5 years »

1946

The late Boston Globe Sports Editor Jerry Nason, the person responsible for documenting most of the written history of the Boston Marathon, called this the most significant race of all time. Running to dramatize the plight of his starving countrymen, Greek marathoner Stylianos Kyriakides hung gallantly onto John A. Kelley and ran him down in the late stages of the race with a 2:29:27 winning performance. The race was also significant because it heralded the dominance of foreign runners in future years. This was also the final year that the large contingent of race vehicles was allowed on the course. In the following year, B.A.A. President Walter Brown would allow only three press buses along the route.

1947

Korean Yun Bok Suh ran a world-best 2:25:39, marking the only time the men's world record has been set on the Boston Marathon course. Suh, who is also the first Asian champion, and, at 5'1", the smallest Boston champion, received funds from American servicemen to cover the cost of his trip to Boston. After overcoming a fall caused by a stray fox terrier, Suh took the lead from Finland's Mikko Heitanen on the last of the Newton hills and ran unchallenged to the finish.

1948

The fourth and final of Gerard Cote's victories was earned following a hard-fought battle with Ted Vogel, of Watertown, Mass. Following an elbow-to-elbow duel during the first 23 miles - that on occasion bordered on the unsportsmanlike - Cote pulled away for a 44-second margin of victory in 2:31:02.

1949

Unsure about his fitness, Sweden's Karl Gosta Leandersson ran over the course 10 days before the race, unofficially breaking the course record and injuring his Achilles tendon in the process. But the Swedish champion recovered in time to post a three-minute, eight-second win in 2:31:50 over Vic Dyrgall after nearly being hit by an automobile.

1950

The extent of the foreign dominance began to deepen as the Korean contingent of Kee Yong Ham, Kil Yoon Song, and Yun Chi Choi finished 1-2-3 respectively. Nicknamed "Swift Premium" by the race writers, Kil was ranked only third on the Korean team, behind their national champion and Olympian Yun Chi Choi. However, Kil, who built an overwhelming advantage between miles 12 and 21, walked four times along the final four miles, before finishing first in 2:32:39.

« Previous 5 years    Next 5 years »

B.A.A. Moment 1

1920 - Ashland Start

The Boston Marathon began in Ashland, Massachusetts from 1897 through 1923 then moved to Hopkinton for the 1924 race. The course was lengthened to 26 miles, 385 yards to conform to the Olympic standard, and the starting line was moved west from Ashland to Hopkinton. Since then, the race has started in Hopkinton every year.