On This Day

Jim Peters

Marathon Runner Jim Peters

Full Name: James Henry Peters
Profession: Marathon Runner

Nationality:
England
English

Why Famous: Jim Peters was a British marathon runner who set new records for the sport but also suffered one of the most agonizing collapses in sport.

Peters set four world marathon records during his career including in 1952 breaking the 26-mile marathon time setting 2:20:42.2, which stood until 1958.

He is probably best remembered for his collapse at the end of the marathon at the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. He'd entered the stadium 17 minutes ahead of any rival but his early fast pace and dehydration on a hot day made him stagger and crawl in search of the line before falling eventually unconscious. He was awarded a special medal at the end of that year by Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II "As a token of admiration to a most gallant marathon runner."'

Born: October 24, 1918
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Horse
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: January 9, 1999 (aged 80)

Historical Events

  • 1952-06-14 Jim Peters runs world record marathon (2:20:42.2)
  • 1953-06-13 Jim Peters runs world record marathon (2:18:40.2)
  • 1953-10-04 British runner Jim Peters sets world marathon record 2:18:34.8 in the Turku Marathon in Finland
  • 1954-06-26 Jim Peters runs marathon in 2:17:39.4
  • 1954-07-07 British runner Jim Peters, 17 minutes ahead of any rival, collapses on the final stadium lap of the Commonwealth Games marathon in Vancouver

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