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Library and Archives Canada

Photos: Today’s Google Doodle honors one of Canada’s most celebrated runners

Johnny Simon
By Johnny Simon


Today’s animated Google Doodle honors the 131st birthday of Tom Longboat, the celebrated Canadian long distance runner from the Onondaga nation. Born in southern Ontario on the Six Nations reserve, Longboat’s career was marked by numerous titles and broken records, despite the era’s prejudices.

He most notably won the Boston Marathon in 1907 when he was only 19, breaking the previous record by a full five minutes.

When World War I broke out, Longboat served voluntarily, running dispatches across the battlefield. He was injured twice and was even incorrectly declared dead.

Longboat died in 1949. For the past decade, June 4th has been officially celebrated as “Tom Longboat Day” in Ontario.

Charles A. Aylett/Library and Archives Canada
Longboat with a trophy in 1907.
Library and Archives Canada
Longboat serving during World War I
Bain News Service/Library of Congress
Longboat (right) at an exhibition race in Brooklyn, New York in 1913.
Bain News Service/Library of Congress
Longboat with his trainer and promoter Tom Eck in an undated photo
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