Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Johnny the Younger, rest in Peace

I can't say it any better than Amby, so go here first:
John J. Kelley, RIP, 1930-2011: 1957 Boston Marathon Winner; America's First Modern Road Runner
, by Amby Burfoot, Runners World Editor-at-Large (thanks to Yankee Runner for pointing out the link)

Quote from my memoir, All Over the Board, Mile 5 - Embrace of a Lifetime:
"The runners spilled over into the gymnasium. Nobody wanted to go outside because of the cold and rain. The distinct wintergreen smell of Bengay permeated the room. In one corner, the two Johnny Kelleys (John A. Kelly the ‘elder’ and John J. Kelly the ‘younger’) held court and posed for photographs. I was impressed by the fact that Johnny Kelley the younger, who had won the race ten years earlier in 2 hours, 20 minutes and 5 seconds, sported the biggest bunions I had ever seen. When he stood, his feet looked like sailboats crossing on the gym floor."

My earlier blog on the marathon posted April 16, 2010 (repeated here in Johnny's honor):

It is hard to believe that it has been twenty years since I crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon for the last time, together with my friends Ruth Rothfarb and Marie Fitzherbert. The scan above is the mylar "blanket" that the race officials threw over my shoulders at the end of the race.

featuring: Albin Stenroos Paris 1924, Emil Zátopek Helsinki 1952, Alain Mimoun Melbourne 1956, Abebe Bikila Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, Mamo Wolde Mexico 1968, Josiah Thugwane Atlanta 1996, Abera Sydney 2000, Samuel Wanjiru Beijing 2008 (RIP), Montreal 1976 Waldemar Cierpinski, Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984 Carlos Lopez, Munich 1972 Frank Shorter, London 2012, Kitei Son Berlín 1936, Juan Zabala, Haile Gebrselassie, Paavo Nurmi. You can also catch a glimpse of USA's John J. Kelley if you look closely.

Added video of the 1959 Boston Marathon:

Also see Norwich Bulletin article by Marc Allard, 8/22/11

Rest in Peace, Johnny Kelley (Dec 24, 1930 - Aug 21, 2011)

No comments: