Marathon Running in History

Marathon Running: Boston Marathon - NYC Marathon - NYC Women's Marathon

Related Topics: Running

Events in Sport

  • 1896-03-22 Charilaos Vasilakos of Greece wins 1st modern marathon in 3:18 at the Panhellenic Games
  • 1896-04-10 Spyridon Louis of Greece wins inaugural Olympic marathon (2:58:50) in Athens; runs last lap accompanied by Constantine I
  • 1896-04-12 Stamasia Portrisi is 1st woman to win a marathon (5:30 in Athens)
  • 1900-07-19 Michel Théato wins 2nd olympics marathon (2:59:45.0-40,260k)
  • 1904-08-30 Thomas Hicks wins 3rd Olympics marathon (3:28:53.0) (40 km)
  • 1906-09-16 Kaarlo Nieminen wins 1st Finnish marathon
  • 1908-07-24 American Johnny Hayes wins London Olympic marathon in Games record 2:55:18.4 after Dorando Pietri of Italy disqualified for receiving assistance before the finish line
  • 1908-11-25 Dorando Pietri (It) beats Johnny Hayes (US) in Madison Square Garden marathon by 60 yds
  • 1909-01-01 American Robert Fowler runs then world record marathon (2:52:45.4) at Yonkers, NY
  • 1909-02-12 American James Clark runs world record marathon (2:46:52.6) in NYC
  • 1909-05-08 American Albert Raines runs world record marathon (2:46:04.6) in NYC
  • 1909-05-08 British runner Henry Barrett runs world record marathon (2:42:31) in the Polytechnic Marathon in London
  • 1909-08-31 Swedish runner Thure Johansson runs world record marathon (2:40:34.2) in Stockholm
  • 1912-07-14 Kenneth McArthur runs Olympic record marathon (2:36:54.8)
  • 1912-10-20 Hannes Kolehmainen runs world record marathon (2:29:39.2)
  • 1913-05-12 Harry Green runs world record marathon (2:38:16.2)

  • 1923-03-31 First dance marathon in New York City; Alma Cummings sets record of 27 hours with 6 different partners
  • 1924-07-13 Albin Stenroos wins Olympic marathon (2:41:22.6)

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1924-10-01 Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi runs world record 4 mile (19:15.4) & 5 mile (24:06.2)at Vilpuri, Russia

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • 1925-10-12 Albert Michelsen runs world record marathon (2:19:01.8)
  • 1926-10-03 English long distance runner Violet Piercy sets first recognised female marathon record in 3:40:22 on the Polytechnic Marathon course between Windsor and London
  • 1928-10-01 Finnish distance runner Paavo Nurmi runs 15k world record 46:49.6 and 10 miles 50:15.0 in Berlin, Germany
  • 1929-06-16 Otto E Funk, 62, ends marathon walk (NY to SF, 4165 miles in 183 days)
  • 1934-09-09 Armas Toivonen becomes 1st European marathoner (2:52:29.0)
  • 1935-04-03 Yasuo Ikenada runs world record marathon (2:26:44)
  • 1935-11-03 Korean runner Sohn Kee-chung sets new men's marathon world record, 2:26:42 in Tokyo, Japan
  • 1936-08-09 Korean nationals representing Japan earn medals in the marathon at the Berlin Olympics; Sohn Kee-chung won gold and Nam Sung-yong bronze
  • 1937-12-27 German immigration officials with no explanation bar Juan Carlos Zabala (Arg), 1932 Olympic marathon champion, from entering Germany
  • 1942-09-06 Czech marathon runner Oskar Hêks transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau
  • 1946-08-22 Mikko Hietanen wins Oslo marathon (2:24:55)
  • 1947-04-19 Suh Yun Buck wins world record marathon (2:25:39)
  • 1948-08-07 Delfo Cabrera of Argentina wins dramatic marathon in 2:34:51.6 at the London Olympics
  • 1949-09-01 Finnish long distance runner Viljo Heino runs 10,000m world record 29:27.2 in Kouvola, Finland
  • 1950-08-23 Jack Holden wins marathon (2:32:12)
  • 1952-06-14 Jim Peters runs world record marathon (2:20:42.2)
  • 1952-07-27 Emile Zatopek runs Olympic record marathon (2:23:03.2)

  • 1952-08-27 Emil Zatopek wins 12th olympics marathon (2:23:03.2)
  • 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
  • 1953-11-01 Czech long distance runner Emile Zatopek sets world 10,000m record 29:01.6 & 6 mile mark 28:08.4 in Stara Boleslav, Czech Republic
  • 1954-06-26 Jim Peters runs marathon in 2:17:39.4
  • 1954-08-25 Ivan Filin wins Berne marathon (2:25:26.6) (260m)
  • 1955-08-03 Belgian middle distance runner Roger Moens breaks Rudolph Harbig's long standing 800m world record (1:45.7) in Oslo, Norway
  • 1956-12-01 Algerian-born French long-distance runner Alain Mimoun wins the men's marathon in 2:25:00.0 at the Melbourne Olympics; first time runners follow painted line
  • 1958-08-24 Sergei Popov wins Stockholm marathon (2:15:17.0) (WR)
  • 1960-09-02 New Zealand middle distance runner Peter Snell wins the first of 3 career Olympic gold medals when he wins the 800m in Rome
  • 1960-09-06 Australian middle distance runner Herb Elliott breaks his own world record in winning the 1,500m at the Rome Olympics in 3:35.6

Sports record brokenWorld Record

1960-09-10 Abebe Bikila runs Olympic/World record marathon (2:15:16.2)

Marathon Runner Abebe Bikila
Marathon Runner
Abebe Bikila
  • 1962-02-25 Mike O'Hara completes record 97th marathon
  • 1962-09-16 Brian Kilby wins marathon: (2:23:18.8)
  • 1963-02-17 Toru Terasawa runs world record marathon (2:15:15.8
  • 1963-06-15 Buddy Nobles runs world record marathon (2:14:28)
  • 1964-05-23 Dale Greig runs female marathon world record (3:27:45)
  • 1964-06-13 Basil Heatley runs world record marathon (2:13:55)
  • 1964-08-16 Mildred Sampson of New Zealand runs female world marathon record 3:19:33 in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1964-10-14 Little known American distance runner Billy Mills scores major upset by winning the 10,000m at the Tokyo Olympics; beats Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia by 0.4s; only American to ever win the event
  • 1964-10-21 Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia runs a world record 2:12:11.2 to beat Briton Basil Heatley by more than 4 minutes and win the men's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics; first athlete to win Olympic marathon twice
  • 1965-06-12 Morio Shigematsu runs world record marathon (2:12:00)
  • 1967-05-06 Maureen Wilton runs female world record marathon (3:15:22)
  • 1967-09-16 Anni Pede runs female world record marathon (3:07:26)
  • 1967-12-03 Australian Derek Clayton runs world marathon record 2:09:36.4 at the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan
  • 1968-10-20 Mamo Wolde wins 16th Olympic marathon (2:20:26.4)
  • 1969-01-02 Once influential daily sports newspaper, 'Soviet Sport' declares Czech super-star distance runner Emil Zatopek a "public enemy" after he supports democratic wing of the Communist Party at start of the Prague Spring
  • 1969-05-30 Derek Clayton runs world record marathon (2:08:33.6) at Antwerp
  • 1969-06-25 Pancho Gonzalez beats Charles Pasarell in 112 game (5hr12m) marathon
  • 1969-06-30 Derek Clayton of Australia sets Marathon record at 2:08:34
  • 1969-09-21 Ron Hill wins European marathon (2:16:47.8)
  • 1970-02-28 Caroline Walker runs world female record marathon (3:02:53)
  • 1970-09-23 Gary Muhrcke wins 1st NY Marathon
  • 1971-05-09 Elizabeth Bonner runs female world record marathon (3:01:42)
  • 1971-08-15 Charles Lismont wins Helsinki marathon (2:13:09.0)
  • 1971-08-31 Adrienne Beames runs female world record marathon (2:46:30)
  • 1972-09-10 American long distance runner Frank Shorter scores a famous win in the men's marathon in 2:12:19.8 at the Munich Olympics
  • 1974-02-10 Judy Ikenberry wins 1st Us women's marathon (2:55:17)
  • 1974-08-15 Longest team (6) trampoline bouncing marathon (1,248 hours or 52 days)
  • 1974-09-08 England's Ian Thompson wins European Championship marathon in 2:13:18.8 in Rome, Italy
  • 1974-10-27 French runner Chantal Langlacé sets female world marathon record (2:46:24) in Neuf-Brisach, France
  • 1974-12-01 American Jacqueline Hansen runs female world record marathon 2:43:54.5 in Culver City, California
  • 1975-05-03 Christa Vahlensieck runs female world record marathon (2:40:15.8)
  • 1975-10-12 Jacqueline Hansen runs women's world record marathon (2:38:19)
  • 1976-07-31 East German runner Waldemar Cierpinski beats American Frank Shorter by 50 seconds to win the Olympic Games marathon in 2:09:55 in Montreal
  • 1976-10-10 Greece's 98 year-old Dimitrion Yordanidis, is oldest man to compete in a marathon; he finishes in 7:33
  • 1977-05-01 French runner Chantal Langlacé sets female world marathon record (2:35:15.4) in Oyarzun, Spain
  • 1977-09-10 Christa Vahlensieck runs female world record marathon (2:34:47.5)
  • 1978-02-18 1st Iron Man Triathlon (swim, bike ride, marathon) held, Kona, Hawaii
  • 1978-10-22 Grete Weitz runs female world record marathon (2:32:29.8)
  • 1980-04-12 Terry Fox begins his "Marathon of Hope" at St. John's, Newfoundland
  • 1980-04-26 Gerard Nijboer runs Dutch record marathon (2:09:01)
  • 1980-08-01 East German runner Waldemar Cierpinski wins his second consecutive Olympic Games marathon in 12:11:03 in Moscow
  • 1980-09-01 Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope ends in Thunder Bay, Ontario with Fox unable to continue because of illness
  • 1981-12-06 Rob de Castella of Australia sets Marathon record at 2:08:18
  • 1982-04-19 Rosie Ruiz, marathon race cheater, arrested for forgery
  • 1982-09-12 Gerard Nijboer (2:15:16) & Rosa Mota (2:36:04) win marathon
  • 1983-04-17 Grete Waltz runs female world record marathon (2:25:29)
  • 1983-08-07 Grete Waitz of Norway wins inaugural women's marathon at the 1st world athletics championships in Helsinki, Finland
  • 1983-08-14 Robert de Castella wins Helsinki marathon (2:10:03)
  • 1984-04-18 Joan Benoit runs world record female marathon (2:22:43)
  • 1984-08-05 American Joan Benoit wins first Olympic marathon for women (2:24:52) ahead of Grete Waitz of Norway at the Los Angeles Games
  • 1984-08-12 Carlos Lopes of Portugal wins the men's marathon at the Los Angeles Olympics in 2:09:21, an Olympic record that stands for 24 years
  • 1984-10-21 Steve Jones runs Chicago Marathon in world record 2:08:05

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1846-03-03 Desiderio FA Pietri, Italian baker/marathon runner Dorando's father
  • 1873-01-12 Spyridon Louis, Greek distance runner, soldier (winner first modern Olympics marathon 1896), born in Marousi, Greece (d. 1940)
  • 1876-01-11 Thomas Hicks, English athlete (Olympic gold marathon 1904), born in Birmingham, England (d. 1952)
  • 1885-10-16 Dorando di Desiderio Pietri, Italian marathoner (Olympic-DQ gold-1908)
  • 1887-06-04 Tom Longboat, Canadian marathon runner, born in Six Nations Reserve Brantford, Ontario, Canada (d. 1949)
  • 1889-12-09 Hannes Kolehmainen, Finnish long-distance runner (Olympic gold 1912), born in Kuopio, Finland (d. 1966)
  • 1891-01-23 Jüri Lossmann, Estonian athlete (Olympic silver marathon 1920), born in Kabala, Estonia (d. 1984)
  • 1891-02-04 Yuri Losmann, Estonia, marathon runner (Olympic-silver 1920)

Person of interestPaavo Nurmi

1897-06-13 Paavo Nurmi, Finnish middle & long distance runner (9 Olympic gold 1920, 24, 28), born in Turku, Finland (d. 1973)

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi
  • 1909-08-04 Glenn Cunningham, American middle distance runner (1930's), born in Atlanta, Kansas (d. 1988)
  • 1912-08-29 Sohn Kee-chung, Korean athlete and long-distance runner, born in Sinuiju, North Korea (d. 2002)
  • 1919-04-02 Delfo Cabrera, Argentine distance runner (Olympic gold marathon 1948), born in Armstrong, Argentina (d. 1981)
  • 1921-01-01 Alain Mimoun, Algerian/French distance runner (Olympic marathon gold 1956; 3 x silver 1948, 52), born in Telagh, Algeria (d. 2013)
  • 1922-09-19 Emil Zátopek, Czech distance runner (4 x Olympic gold 1948, 52), born in Kopřivnice, Czech Republic (d. 2000)
  • 1922-11-26 Étienne Gailly, Belgian long distance runner (famous Olympic bronze finish 1948), born in Beringen, Belgium (d. 1971)
  • 1928-03-04 Alan Sillitoe, English writer (Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner), born in Nottingham (d. 2010)
  • 1928-11-20 John Disley, Welsh athlete (co-founded London Marathon), born in Corris, Gwynedd (d. 2016)
  • 1930-04-26 Roger Moens, Belgian middle distance runner (800m world record 1955), born in Aalst, Belgium
  • 1931-03-06 Ed Whitlock, British-born runner, oldest person to run marathon under 4 hrs (at 85), born in London (d. 2017)
  • 1931-07-06 László Tábori, Hungarian middle/long distance runner (1,500m world record 1955), born in Košice, Slovakia (d. 2018)
  • 1932-06-12 Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian marathoner (Olympic gold 1968), born in Ada'a, Oromo, Ethiopia (d. 2002)
  • 1932-07-04 Aurèle Vandendriessche, Belgian marathon runner, born in Anzegem, Belgium

Person of interestAbebe Bikila

1932-08-07 Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian Olympic marathon champion (Olympic gold, marathon 1960, 64) and Africa's first world record breaking athlete in any sport, who won the 1960 Olympics marathon barefoot, born in Jato, Ethiopian Empire (d. 1973)

Marathon Runner Abebe Bikila
Marathon Runner
Abebe Bikila
  • 1933-02-11 Mildred Sampson, New Zealand distance runner (world marathon record 3:19:33 1964), born in Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1936-08-08 Don Bowden, American middle distance runner (1st American to run sub 4 minute mile 1957, 3:58.7), born in San José, California
  • 1936-08-16 Anita Gillette, American actress (Quincy ME, Marathon, Moonstruck), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • 1938-12-17 Peter Snell, New Zealand athlete (Olympic gold 800m 1960, 64; 1,500m 1964), born in Opunake, New Zealand (d. 2019)
  • 1941-10-05 Ricardo Hoffmann, marathon swimmer (299 miles)
  • 1945-03-15 Tracy Smith, long-distance runner, born in Altadena, California)
  • 1947-02-18 Carlos A Lopes, Portuguese marathon runner (Olympic gold 1984)
  • 1947-09-09 Lynn Fitzgerald, marathoner (ran 133 miles 939 yards in 24 hrs)
  • 1947-10-31 Frank Shorter, American marathoner (Olympic gold/silver-72, 76), born in Munich, Germany
  • 1949-03-08 Charles Lismont, Belgian marathon runner (Olympic silver 1972)
  • 1950-08-03 Waldemar Cierpinski, East German runner (Olympic marathon gold 1976, 80), born in Neugattersleben, Germany
  • 1951-06-04 Charles Dickinson, American author (Waltz in Marathon), born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1951-12-17 Tatyana Kazankina, USSR, middle distance runner (Olympic gold 1976)
  • 1952-09-27 André Viger, French Canadian wheelchair marathoner (3 Paralympics gold medals), born in Windsor, Ontario (d. 2006)
  • 1953-04-10 David Moorcroft, British athlete (5,000m world record holder 1982-85) born in Coventry, England
  • 1953-10-01 Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner (world record holder; 9-time NYC Marathon champion), born in Oslo, Norway (d. 2011)
  • 1955-01-06 Chantal Langlacé, French runner (women's marathon & 100k world records), born in Amiens, France
  • 1956-03-21 Ingrid Kristiansen, Norwegian marathoner (Olympic-4th-1984, Bost-86, 89)
  • 1956-06-04 John Treacy, Irish marathoner (Olympic silver 1984), born in Villierstown, County Waterford
  • 1957-05-16 Joan Benoit Samuelson, American marathoner (Olympic gold 1984), born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
  • 1958-06-29 Rosa Mota, Portuguese marathon runner (Olympic gold 1988), born in Porto, Portugal
  • 1958-07-28 Terry Fox [Terrance Stanley], Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canadian one-legged marathoner (1980 Marathon of Hope)
  • 1959-04-02 Gelindo Bordin, Italian athlete (Olympic gold marathon 1988), born in Vicenza, Italy
  • 1960-05-12 Lisa Martin, Gawler, South Australia, Australian marathoner (Olympic-silver 1988)
  • 1960-07-01 Lynn Jennings, American long distance runner (world 5,000m record 1990), born in Princeton, New Jersey
  • 1961-08-19 Danuta Bartoszek, Pyrzyce Poland, Canadian marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1961-10-06 Kathrin Dörre, East German marathoner (Olympic bronze 1988)
  • 1961-10-10 Henrik Jørgensen, Danish marathon runner, born in Copenhagen
  • 1961-12-30 Sue Malaxos, Australian marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1962-05-23 Keith Brantley, Scott AFB Ill, marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1962-09-26 Steve Moneghetti, Australian marathoner (Olympic 5th 1988, 92, 96), born in Ballarat, Australia
  • 1963-06-04 Carey Nelson, Canadian marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Saskatchewan, Western Canada
  • 1963-07-20 Jenny Spangler, American marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Monroe, Wisconsin
  • 1963-08-22 Tom Ansberry, American long-distance runner
  • 1963-09-26 Douglas Wakiihuri, Kenyan athlete (World marathon champion 1987, Olympic silver 1988), born in Mombasa, Kenya
  • 1964-07-19 Gina Procaccio, American long and middle distance runner, born in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania
  • 1964-10-29 May Allison, marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Toronto, Ontario
  • 1965-08-10 Carolyn Schuwalow, Australian distance runner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1965-09-07 Uta Pippig, German long distance runner, born in Leipzig, Germany
  • 1965-11-24 Nyla Jane Carroll, New Plymouth NZ, 5k/10k/marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1966-02-03 Sean Patrick Wade, NZ marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Houston, Texas
  • 1966-05-16 Sean Quilty, Australian marathoner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1966-06-18 Bob Kempainen, marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1966-06-18 Robert Kempainen, marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1966-10-05 Peter Fonseca, Canadian politician and marathon runner (Toronto, Houston Marathon 1995), born in Lisbon, Portugal
  • 1966-12-05 Bruce Deacon, Canadian marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Ottawa, Ontario
  • 1967-05-02 Kerryn McCann, Australian marathoner, born in Bulli, New South Wales (d. 2008)
  • 1967-05-14 Shaun Creighton, Australian distance runner (Olympics 1996)
  • 1969-01-15 Rod de Highden, Australian 5k/10k/marathoner (Olympics 1996), born in Melbourne, Australia
  • 1969-03-07 Anne Marie Lauck, marathoner (Olympics 10th 1996), born in Rochester, New York
  • 1969-06-17 Paul Tergat, Kenyan long distance runner, born in Riwo, Baringo District, Kenya
  • 1969-12-02 Pavel Loskutov, Estonian long distance athlete (Frankfurt Marathon 1999, 2001; JoongAng Seoul Marathon 2003-04), born in Valka, Latvia
  • 1970-03-07 James 'Jim' Spivey, American middle-distance runner, born in Schiller Park, Illinois
  • 1972-01-16 Salah Hissou, Moroccan long-distance runner, born in Morocco
  • 1972-12-12 Wilson Kipketer, Kenyan-born Danish middle-distance runner, born in Kapchemoiywo, Nandi County, Kenya
  • 1973-01-19 Wang Junxia, Chinese long distance runner, born in Jiaohe, Jilin
  • 1973-12-17 Paula Radcliffe, English long-distance runner (marathon world record holder), born in Davenham, England
  • 1977-04-27 Khalid Zoubaa, French long-distance runner, born in Sète, Hérault
  • 1977-05-25 Giel Beelen, Dutch radio DJ (a Guinness World Record for the longest radio DJ marathon ever, lasting 198 hours of non-stop broadcasting), born in Haarlem, Netherlands
  • 1978-04-23 Gezahegne Abera, Ethiopian distance runner (Olympic gold marathon 2000, World C'ship gold 2001), born in Etya, Ethiopia
  • 1978-09-26 Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, Kenyan long-distance runner, born in Kapsabet, Kenya
  • 1979-01-25 Gabe Jennings, American distance runner, born in California
  • 1980-06-18 Craig Mottram, Australian middle distance runner (World C'ship bronze 2005, only non-African runner to medal in event since 1987), born in Frankston, Victoria
  • 1980-07-24 Wilfred Bungei, Kenyan middle-distance runner
  • 1980-12-01 Mubarak Hassan Shami, Qatari athlete (Vienna 2005, Prague 2006, Paris 2007 marathons), born in Baringo, Kenya
  • 1981-05-27 Fivos Constantinou, Cypriot distance runner
  • 1983-03-23 Mo Farah [Mohamed Muktar Jama Farah], Somalian-born British distance runner (4 Olympic Golds), born in Mogadishu, Somalia
  • 1984-11-05 Eliud Kipchoge, Kenyan distance runner (Olympic gold marathon 2016; first under 2:00), born in Kapsisiywa, Kenya
  • 1984-12-05 Chris Solinsky, American distance runner, born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin
  • 1992-06-18 Bob Kempainen, marathoner (Olympics-66), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 1994-02-20 Brigid Kosgei, Kenyan athlete (marathon world record 2019; Chicago Marathon 2018-9, London Marathon 2019), born in Kenya

Weddings in Sport

  • 1968-10-26 Czech 7-time Olympic champion gymnast Věra Čáslavská (26) weds middle distance runner Josef Odložil (29) at the Mexico City Cathedral, Mexico City

Deaths in Sport


Person of interestPheidippides

0490-09-02 BC Pheidippides, Greek hero and inspiration for the modern marathon

Hero of Athens Pheidippides
Hero of Athens
Pheidippides
  • 1912-07-15 Francisco Lazaro, Portuguese marathon runner (Olympics), dies at 21
  • 1914-09-29 Jean Bouin, French marathoner (Olympic silver 1912), dies in battle
  • 1940-03-26 Spyridon Louis, Greek distance runner (winner first modern Olympics marathon 1896), dies at 67
  • 1942-02-07 Dorando di Desiderio Pietri, marathoner (Olympic gold 1908), dies at 56
  • 1943-03-09 Oskar Hêks, Czech marathon runner/antifascist, dies in Auschwitz
  • 1949-01-09 Tom Longboat, Canadian marathon runner, dies at 61
  • 1952-01-28 Thomas Hicks, English athlete (Olympic gold marathon 1904), dies at 76
  • 1959-10-19 Boughera El Quafi, marathoner (Olympic gold 1928), shot to death at 60
  • 1966-01-11 Hannes Kolehmainen, Finnish long-distance runner (Olympic gold 1912), dies at 76
  • 1968-01-09 Kokichi Tsuburaya, Japanese marathoner (Olympic bronze 1964), commits suicide
  • 1969-02-09 Manuel Plaza Reyes, Chilean marathoner (Olympic gold 1928), dies at 68
  • 1971-11-03 Étienne Gailly, Belgian long distance runner (famous Olympic bronze finish 1948), dies at 48

Person of interestPaavo Nurmi

1973-10-02 Paavo Nurmi, Finnish middle & long distance runner (9 Olympic gold 1920, 24, 28), dies of Atherosclerosis at 76

Runner nicknamed the
Runner nicknamed the "Flying Finn"
Paavo Nurmi

Person of interestAbebe Bikila

1973-10-25 Abebe Bikila, Ethiopian Olympic marathon champion (Olympic gold, marathon 1960, 64) and Africa's first world record breaking athlete in any sport, who won the 1960 Olympics marathon barefoot, dies of a brain haemorrhage at 41

Marathon Runner Abebe Bikila
Marathon Runner
Abebe Bikila
  • 1975-08-17 Vladimir Kutz, Russian distance runner (Olympic gold 1956) dies at 48
  • 1981-04-02 Delfo Cabrera, Argentine distance runner (Olympic gold marathon 1948), dies in a car accident at 62
  • 1981-06-28 Terry Fox, Canadian one-legged marathoner, dies of cancer at 22
  • 1984-05-01 Jüri Lossmann, Estonian athlete (Olympic silver marathon 1920), dies at 93
  • 1988-03-10 Glenn Cunningham, American middle distance runner (1930's), dies at 78
  • 1990-10-04 Avis Bunnage, British actress (Rising Damp, Coronation Street), dies at 67
  • 1993-11-01 George Sheehan, American doctor, athlete and author ("Running & Being: The Total Experience," NY Times best seller), dies of prostate cancer at 74
  • 1994-08-15 Simon R Naoli, Tanzanian marathoner, dies in an accident at 28
  • 1994-10-09 Fred Lebow, US founder of New York Marathon, dies of cancer
  • 2000-11-22 Emil Zátopek, Czech distance runner (4 x Olympic gold 1948, 52), dies of a stroke at 78
  • 2002-05-26 Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian marathoner (Olympic gold 1968), dies at 69
  • 2002-11-15 Sohn Kee-chung, Korean athlete and long-distance runner, dies at 90
  • 2006-10-01 André Viger, French Canadian wheelchair marathoner (3 Paralympics gold medals), dies from cancer at 54
  • 2009-01-16 Joe Erskine, American boxer and long distance runner (b. 1930)
  • 2010-11-14 Wes Santee, American middle distance runner, dies at 78
  • 2011-04-19 Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner (world record holder; 9-time NYC Marathon champion), dies of cancer at 57
  • 2013-06-27 Alain Mimoun, Algerian/French distance runner (Olympic marathon gold 1956; 3 x silver 1948, 52), dies at 92
  • 2016-02-08 John Disley, Welsh athlete (co-founded London Marathon), dies at 87
  • 2017-03-13 Ed Whitlock, British-born runner, oldest person to run marathon under 4 hrs (at 85), dies at 86
  • 2018-05-23 László Tábori, Hungarian middle/long distance runner (1,500m world record 1955), dies at 86