Tom Longboat. Distance Runner
Series: Chiefs and Champions
Tom Longboat won his first 15-mile race by a full three minutes at the age of 19. Then on April 19, 1907, against rain, slush, tough hills and 104 other entrants, Longboat won the Boston Marathon in record time. He competed in the marathon event at the 1908 Olympics, but collapsed just before mile 20 amid rumours of doping. As a dispatch runner in WWI, he carried messages and orders between units, but was never awarded his pension. Voted the #1 Canadian sports figure of the 20th century by Maclean's Magazine, he was one of the most celebrated athletes in the country's history and is a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. His legacy lives on through the Tom Longboat Award, presented every year to the top Aboriginal athlete.