1897 – 1909: The United States vs. Canada
When Canada’s Ronald J. MacDonald captured the second Boston Marathon in 1898, besting by almost thirteen minutes the time of New York’s John J. McDermott the year before, he signaled very quickly Boston would not be solely a United States affair. Through the early 1930s, runners from the two North American nations accounted for all Boston victories
1910 – 1930: The Era of “Mr. DeMarathon”
Clarence DeMar survived a Dickensian childhood and bad medical advice to win the Boston Marathon seven times, despite taking two long breaks from running while he was in his twenties.
1931 – 1946: Kelley the Elder
Between the ages of 26 and 38, Johnny Kelley made a consistent mark among the leaders as he compiled a record of two wins and seven second place finishes.