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2 hours 58 minutes
One of the greatest marathon runners of all time, Tom Longboat was one of the best-known athletes of the western world in the early 20th century.
Longboat was an astonishing long-distance runner who grew up on the Six Nations reserve near Brantford, Ontario.
He won the Boston Marathon in record time, 2:24.24, almost five minutes faster than the 10 previous winners.
Longboat then raced in the Olympic Marathon in 1908, but he collapsed on the course amid rumours that his manager had drugged him with strychnine.
At a rematch the following year in New York City, Longboat won the race handily, beating his nearest competitor.
In 1916, Longboat enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces and worked as a dispatch carrier for the 107th Pioneer Battalion in France.
He was left for dead on the battlefield, but somehow survived and returned to Canada only to discover that his wife, Lauretta, thinking he was dead, had remarried.
Longboat’s independent spirit and passion for running carried him through the many difficulties he faced as an Aboriginal person.
His enduring legacy has been honoured with the Tom Longboat Awards, established in 1951 to celebrate outstanding First Nations athletes in Canada.
He is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Indian Hall of Fame.
Biography & Memoir
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