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> Issue 59 > Page 75 - Johnny Miles Wins the Boston Marathon

Page 75 - Johnny Miles Wins the Boston Marathon

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1992/1/1 (252 reads)

Johnny Miles in Boston, 1926 continued from inside front cover travel to neighboring areas of the United States than it was to com? pete in Ontario or Quebec. On departure day, about 50 people gathered at the Sydney Mines railway station to see the family off. On board, passengers ap? proached the dark-haired, ruddy-cheeked runner to shake his hand and wish him luck. "You're sure to get a place, John," said one well- meaning fellow, "but I hardly expect you to win over the great stars who will be there." Undeterred, Johnny responded calmly, "I'm not going to get a place • I'm going to Boston to win." Arriving a few days early so he could familiarize himself with the city, Johnny was immediately impressed with the size of Boston and with the fast pace. "Everyone seemed to be going somewhere," he re? calls. "I was anxious about finding somewhere to stay. I didn't know that my father had already made the arrangements." Leaving Mrs. Miles at the Lynches' house, Johnny and his father called at the offices of the Boston Athletic Association to pick up in? formation on the race, and a map. To the officials present that day, Johnny was just another unknown, and race manager Tom Kanaly was amused when the kid admitted to never having run a race longer than 10 miles. With a few comments about Stenroos and local runner Clarence DeMar being in top form, Kanaly wished Johhny a cold "good luck." Feeling slighted, Johnny turned and shot back a few parting words. "Don't be disappointed if I win the race on the 19th," he said. "Perhaps you've already picked the man to win this race, but I'm telling you now that I'm going to win the race." The press was not paying Johnny much heed, either. Other Canadi? ans • including Silas McLellan, of Hants County, Nova Scotia; Arthur Scholes and Charles Snell, of Toronto • topped the list of non- Americans being given an outside chance of beating Stenroos and DeMar, a frequent winner. On April 18, the day before the race, Murdock Campbell drove John? ny and his father-coach along the marathon course, pointing out stra? tegic streets along the way. The names imprint themselves on the mind of anyone who has ever entered the classic: South Frampton, Nanton, Wellesley Square, Lower Newton, Lake Street, and the noto? rious Newton hills, the bane of more than one potential winner. At Hopkinton, the starting point of the race, Johnny and his father Louisbourg Pharmacy • A Local Pharmacy Serving Your Needs Providing complete drug store needs, including: Ltd. Prescription Service Greeting Cards Baby Supplies Monday to Friday 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. 1360 Mam Street • Louisbourg 733-2160 Health & Beauty Aids First Aid Supplies (& Sundries Saturday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. 'On Saturday, prescriptions' i' filled up to 1 p.m. ONLY J Sanjiv Maindirana, pharmacist climbed out of the car and told their driver that they would walk the 26 or so miles back to Boston. They wanted to examine every land? mark, obstacle, twist, and turn. They did not figure on getting lost. Stopping a policeman to ask for directions, they explained that they had just arrived and were follow? ing the race route so Johnny would not get lost later. "Don't worry, sir," the policeman said with a smile, "just let your son follow the crowd. Just follow the crowd, and he'll find his way all right." The usually restrained Mr. Miles piped up, "My son is going to lead the crowd, and so it is necessary that he know the right way." "Let's hope so," said the policeman, pointing out where they had turned right when they should have turned left. Back at the Lynches' house, Mrs. Miles was preparing supper, plus a steak that Johnny had requested for a cold pre-race lunch. As it grew dark and her husband and son did not return, she grew worried. To? morrow, Johnny would face the greatest challenge of his young life. It was well after dark before Johnny and his dad sat down to supper. Aftenwards, Mr. Miles gave his son a vigorous rubdown, discussed their final strategy, and left Johhny to get a good night's sleep. But as his parents fielded telephone calls and visits from well-wishers, John? ny tossed in his bed. He spent an unusually restless night, as he re- 1 OPEN 24 HOURS • 7 DAYS A WEEkI 412 Welton Street Sydney (562-5033) 1058 Kings Road Sydney River (539-3931) Cor. Charlotte & Townsend Sydney (562-8085) 106 King Street North Sydney (794-8337) Sterling Mall Glace Bay (849-0988) 31 Commercial Street Glace Bay (849-1144) Cape Breton Shopping Plaza Sydney River (539-1399) Prince Street Sydney Shopping Centre (539-4287) "Always fresh because you keep eating them!" i!M(f
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