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Boston Marathon History: 1971-1975

 

75th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 19, 1971

The field dipped to 887 starters this year as the B.A.A. raised the qualifying standard to three hours, 10 minutes. The race turned out to have one of the closest finishes ever as Colombian Alvaro Mejia and Patrick McMahon, a Massachusetts resident and Ireland native, dueled almost the entire way before Mejia pulled away within 150 yards from the finish. Mejia was clocked in at 2:18:45, just five seconds ahead of McMahon. Sara Mae Berman, who finished in 3:08:30, again led the unofficial women entrants.

Men's Top Results

1. Alvaro Mejia (COL) 2:18:45
2. Patrick McMahon (IRL) 2:18:50
3. John Halberstadt (RSA) 2:22:23
4. John Vitale (CT) 2:22:45
5. Byron J. Lowry (CA) 2:23:20
6. Arthur Coolidge (MA) 2:23:23
7. William Speck (RI) 2:23:54
8. Markku Salminen (FIN) 2:24:02
9. Ron Wallingford (CAN) 2:25:21
10. William Clark (CA) 2:26:19

Unofficial Era of Women’s Participation

1. Sara Mae Berman (MA) 3:08:30
2. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 3:09:00**
3. Kathrine Switzer (NY). 3:28:00**

 

76th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 17, 1972

Olavi Suomalainen, a 25-year-old student, became the first Finnish winner at Boston in 10 years. Suomalainen broke away from Colombia’s Victor Manuel Mora near Boston College to finish first in 2:15:39. The women received official recognition this year, and New Yorker Nina Kuscsik became the first official women’s winner at Boston with a 3:10:26 performance. The qualifying standards began to take hold and became the mark toward which the marathon populace would aspire, leading to increased participation in the event.

Men's Top Results

1. Olavi Suomalainen (FIN) 2:15:39
2. Victor Manuel Mora (COL) 2:15:57
3. Jacinto Sabinal (MEX) 2:16:10
4. Alfredo Penaloza (MEX) 2:18:46
5. Pablo Garrivo Lugo (MEX) 2:19:50
6. Bruce Mortenson (NY) 2:19:59
7. Jeff Galloway (FL) 2:20:03
8. Alvaro Mejia (COL) 2:20:06
9. Steve Dean (CA) 2:20:29
10. Markku Salminen (FIN) 2:20:42

Women's Top Results

1. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 3:10:26*
2. Elaine Pedersen (CA) 3:20:25
3. Kathrine Switzer (NY) 3:29:51
4. Pat Barrett (NJ) 3:40:29
5. Sara Mae Berman (MA) 3:48:30
6. Valerie Rogosheske (VA) 4:29:32
7. Ginny Collins (MA) 4:48:32
8. Frances Morrison (TX) 5:07:00

 

77th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 16, 1973

Former Cornell University track standout Jon Anderson pulled away from defending champion Olavi Suomalainen near the 20-mile mark and won by one minute in 2:16:03. New Jersey’s Tom Fleming closed fast over the final miles to grab the runner-up spot from Suomalainen. This was the first of Fleming’s two second-place finishes at Boston. Jacqueline A. Hansen, of California, took the women’s title in 3:05:59.

Men's Top Results

1. Jon Anderson (OR) 2:16:03
2. Tom Fleming (NJ) 2:17:03
3. Olavi Suomalainen (FIN) 2:18:21
4. Bernard Plain (GBR) 2:21:10
5. Jeff Galloway (FL) 2:21:27
6. Dennis Spencer (GA) 2:22:31
7. Bob Moore (CAN) 2:23:57
8. Paabo Leiviska (FIN) 2:23:57
9. John Vitale (CT) 2:24:06
10. Ron Daws (MN) 2:24:09

Women's Top Results

1. Jacqueline A. Hansen (CA) 3:05:59*
2. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 3:06:29
3. Jennifer Taylor (MA) 3:16:30
4. Kathrine Switzer (NY) 3:20:30
5. Sara Mae Berman (MA) 3:30:05
6. Gerda Reinke (GER) 3:30:20
7. Sigrid Nadon (OH) 3:30:40
8. Merry Cushing (MA) 3:36:06
9. Valerie Rogosheske (MN) 3:51:12
10. Diane Fournier (ME) 4:13:28

 

78th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 15, 1974

The presence of the collegiate speedboys in the marathon was felt at Boston. Ireland’s Neil Cusack, a student at East Tennessee State University, ran away with a convincing 2:13:39 victory, the second-fastest winning time to date, while New Jersey’s Tom Fleming was second again, 46 seconds back. Michiko “Miki” Gorman, 38, from Los Angeles, led the women’s field with a record 2:47:11 performance, marking the first time a woman had run under the three-hour mark at Boston.

Men's Top Results

1. Neil Cusack (IRL) 2:13:39
2. Tom Fleming (NJ) 2:14:25
3. Jerome Drayton (CAN) 2:15:40
4. Lucien Rosalka (CAN) 2:15:53
5. Vilho Paajanen (FIN) 2:16:15
6. Steve Hoag (MN) 2:16:44
7. Bob Moore (CAN) 2:16:45
8. Ron Wayne (OR) 2:16:58
9. Bernie Allen (MD) 2:17:02
10. Carl Hatfield (WV) 2:17:36

Women's Top Results

1. Michiko (Miki) Gorman (CA) 2:47:11*
2. Christa Kifferschlager (GER) 2:53:00
3. Nina Kuscsik (NY) 2:55:12
4. Manuela Preuss (GER) 2:58:46
5. Kathrine Switzer (NY) 3:01:39
6. Lydia Ritter (GER) 3:05:18
7. Renate Kieninger (GER) 3:08:45
8. Valerie Rogosheske (MN) 3:09:28
9. Lucy Bunz (CA) 3:10:57
10. Irene Rudolph (CA) 3:12:13

 

79th Boston Marathon - Monday, April 21, 1975

Boston’s Bill Rodgers, “The People’s Choice” and the runner most responsible for popularizing the marathon boom, stunned the largest starting field to date (2,121) with a course and American record of 2:09:55. What made Rodgers’s record run even more impressive was that he stopped five times - four times for water and once to tie a shoelace. West German Liane Winter established a world-best performance for women, shattering Miki Gorman’s course record in 2:42:24. The wheelchair division can trace its roots to this year, as Bob Hall successfully completed the course in 2:58:00. Race director Will Cloney promised to add this division in future years.

Men's Top Results

1. Bill Rodgers (MA) 2:09:55*+
2. Steve Hoag (MN) 2:11:54
3. Tom Fleming (NJ) 2:12:05
4. Thomas Howard (CAN) 2:13:23
5. Ron Hill (GBR) 2:13:28
6. James Stanley (OH) 2:14:54
7. Russell Pate (SC) 2:15:22
8. Peter Fredriksson (SWE) 2:15:38
9. Mario Quezas (MEX) 2:16:03
10. Andrew Boychuk (CAN) 2:16:13

Women's Top Results

1. Liane Winter (GER) 2:42:24*#
2. Kathrine Switzer (NY) 2:51:37
3. Gayle S. Barron (GA) 2:54:11
4. Marilyn T. Bevans (MD) 2:55:52
5. Merry Cushing (MA) 2:56:57
6. Kathryn Loper (MI). 2:59:10
7. Marilyn Paul (OR) 2:59:37
8. Joan L. Ullyot (CA) 3:02:20
9. Judy Gumbs (CA) 3:02:54
10. Janice Arenz (MN) 3:03:03

 

*Course Record
+American Record
#World Record
**Approximate Time

 

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.