The Medford milkman, Jimmy Henigan, got his long-awaited victory in his tenth 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 1918 but had dropped out in eight of his nine previous attempts.

Henigan battled with Canada’s Dave Komonen until he shook off his northern neighbor on the Newton hills, racing uncontested over the final miles.

1. Jimmy Henigan — Medford, Massachusetts;
2. Fred Ward;
3. Karl Koski — Finland.


Paul de Bruyn, a 24-year-old former sailor in the German Navy, outraced Jimmy Henigan, the defending champion, over a two-mile stretch on Beacon Street to win in 2:33:36, a 56-second victory over Henigan.

Henigan, 39, followed the lead of Canada’s John McLeod, who was on record setting pace. When McLeod faltered near Cleveland Circle with blistered feet, de Bruyn and Henigan took over the lead to begin their stretch run.

1. Paul de Bruyn — Germany/New York;
2. Jimmy Henigan — Medford, Massachusetts;
3. John McLeod — Canada.


Pawtucket mill weaver Leslie Pawson scored the first of his three Boston wins with a convincing 2:31:01 record performance into a strong head wind.

Pawson grabbed the lead from New Yorker John DeGloria on the first of the Newton hills and went on to win by almost 5 1/2 minutes over Canada’s Dave Komonen.

1. Leslie S. Pawson — Pawtucket, Rhode Island;
2. Dave Komenen — Canada.


Finnish-born cobbler Dave Komonen of Ontario, Canada, geared up for the race by making his own running shoes.

Heavily favored in an anticipated duel with defender Leslie Pawson, Komonen took over the lead from New York’s Bill Steiner at 13 miles as Pawson dropped out two miles later.

The next eight miles saw the emergence of a young Arlington, Massachusetts, runner by the name of John Adelbert Kelley.

Kelley battled Komonen as the lead changed several times before Komonen put Kelley away at Cleveland Circle and won in 2:32:53.

This was the first of Kelley’s seven second-place finishes at Boston. Kelley would maintain an association with the Boston Marathon that continued well over 50 years.

1. Dave Komonen — Canada;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts


Runnerup the previous year, John A. Kelley, a florist’s assistant from Arlington, romped home to the finish in 2:32:07.

Kelley took the lead at mid-race in Wellesley and defender 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. It was here he was overcome with nausea and regurgitated before running on to victory.

1. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
2. Pat Dengis — Maryland.


So fast was the early pace set by Ellison “Tarzan” Brown, that he beat the press vehicles and writers to the first checkpoint in Framingham.

Brown, a Narragansett Indian from Alton, Rhode Island, held the lead throughout the Newton hills until he was caught by John A. Kelley, who put on a swift rush over the hills. As Kelley caught Brown, he patted him on the backside, which prompted Brown to once again take over the lead. Brown won in 2:33:40 as Kelley faded to fifth.

1. Ellison “Tarzan” Brown — Alton, Rhode Island;
2. Billy McMahon.


An unemployed snowshoe racer from Quebec, Walter Young, hooked up in a battle with John A. Kelley for 23 miles.

The lead between the two men changed 16 times, with Young pulling away on this warm day with a 2:33:20 performance. Kelley fell back off the pace and finished second, nearly six minutes behind.

1. Walter Young — Canada;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
3. Leslie S. Pawson — Rhode Island.


Leslie Pawson notched his second Boston win five years after setting the record in the ’33 race.

The 75-degree temperature made this a race of attrition. Pawson yielded to the early front-running efforts of Canada’s Duncan McCallum.

Pawson then shadowed the pace-setting efforts of John A. Kelley from miles eight through 15, finally taking over the lead at Newton Lower Falls.

Pawson finished in 2:35:34, a comfortable 66 seconds ahead of the fast-closing Pat Dengis.

1. Leslie Pawson — Rhode Island;
2. Pat Dengis — Maryland;
3. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Mass.


Ellison “Tarzan” Brown, the 1936 winner, romped home for his second win with a record-setting 2:28:51 performance.

Brown shattered Pawson’s ’33 course record (2:31:01) and became the first American marathoner to run under 2 hours, 30 minutes.

Brown was content to run behind the early pace-setting efforts of Pawson and ’37 winner Walter Young. At 17 miles, Brown took off on a solo run to the finish, breaking every checkpoint record on the course in the process.

1. Ellison “Tarzan” Brown — Alton, Rhode Island;
2. Don Heinicke — Maryland;
3. Walter Young — Canada.


This was the first of Gerard Cote’s four Boston wins in the 1940s.

The French-Canadian ran through the halfway juncture in Wellesley, tucked back in 15th place. It wasn’t until mile 22 on Beacon Street that he caught the leader, John A. Kelley.

Cote outran Kelley to the finish in 2:28:28, breaking Tarzan Brown’s year-old record by 23 seconds.

1. Gerard Cote — Quebec;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
3. Don Heinicke — Maryland.


Leslie Pawson captured his third Boston win with his fastest time (2:30:38) on a balmy 72-degree day.

Pawson, now 36, trailed former champions Gerard Cote, John A. Kelley and Tarzan Brown during the early miles.

When Pawson made his move, only Kelley attempted to stay with him. Pawson beat Kelley to the finish by 48 seconds as Kelley finished second for the fourth time in eight years.

1. Leslie Pawson — Pawtucket, Rhode Island;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
3. Don Heinicke — Maryland.


Medford milkman Bernard Joseph Smith smashed Cote’s course mark and established an American record with a stunning 2:26:51 run on a cold, 44-degree afternoon.

At 6’2″, Smith was the tallest runner ever to win the race up until this time. Smith was ill the morning of the race and had to be talked into running the race by his wife.

Smith grabbed the lead from runnerup Lou Gregory past the 21-mile mark, pushing hard all the way to the finish to take down Cote’s record.

1. Bernard Joseph Smith — Medford, Massachusetts;
2. Lou Gregory;
3. Carl Maroney.


The two-year Cote-Kelley battle began in earnest as the Canadian Army sergeant hooked up with Kelley in a furious battle for 21 miles.

Cote, burdened with a strained Achilles tendon, pulled away from Kelley in the final miles to grab his second win at Boston with a 2:28:25 performance.

1. Gerard Cote — Quebec;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
3. Fred McGlone.


Cote scored a back-to-back victory, with John A. Kelley second again in what was perhaps the most frustrating of Kelley’s seven runnerup finishes.

Kelley had caught Cote three miles from home and seven times tried to break away from the Canadian champion. Unsuccessful once again, Kelley’s game effort left him 60 seconds behind Cote (2:31:50) at the finish.

1. Gerard Cote — Quebec;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
3. Charles Robbins — Connecticut.


Ten years had passed since John A. Kelley first won Boston, but he was back in the winner’s circle again (2:30:40) as a member of the U.S. Army.

At age 37, Kelley was not among the early leaders, as he was in the past.

Kelley finally caught Coast Guardsman Lloyd Bairstow at Coolidge Corner and enjoyed a two-minute, 10-second margin of victory at the finish.

1. John A. Kelley — U.S. Army;
2. Lloyd Bairstow — U.S. Coast Guard.


Retired 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 Kryiakides 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 signaled the dominance by foreign runners in future years. This was also the final year the large contingent of race vehicles were allowed on the course. In the following year, BAA President Walter Brown would allow only three press buses along the route.

1. Stylianos Kryiakides — Greece;
2. John A. Kelley — Arlington, Massachusetts;
3. Gerard Cote – Quebec, Canada.