Today on the Google home page in the United States and Canada is a Doodle, Google logo, for Tom Longboat’s 131st birthday. For almost all of his professional career he was the dominant long distance runner of the time. In fact, today on his birthday in Ontario is “Tom Longboat Day.” He was born on June 4, 1887 in Ontario and died at the age of 61 on January 9, 1949.
He was a dispatch runner in World War I for the Canadian army and was declared dead twice in the service. Yea, he was found later to be alive.
Today we celebrate the 131st birthday of Tom Longboat, a Canadian long-distance runner celebrated as one of the greatest marathoners of all time. Longboat was a member of the Onondaga Nation, born in 1887 on Six Nations Reserve, south of Brantford, Ontario. He first began racing in his early teenage years, inspired by Bill Davis, another First Nations runner who finished second in the Boston Marathon in 1901.
Tom Longboat’s legacy lives on as one of Canada’s greatest athletes. Not only is today his birthday, it is officially “Tom Longboat Day” in Ontario!
To learn more about his life, check out Wikipedia.
Forum discussion at Twitter.