Tom Longboat is often considered by many to be one of the best long-distance runners, gifted with speed, agility, and endurance.
In 1907, Tom Longboat stunned the world when he won the Boston Marathon, shattering the course record by five minutes. The Boston Globe reported, “Never before in the history of running, in either amateur or professional ranks in this country or abroad, has Longboat’s running performance been approached.” In 1908, Tom represented Canada at the London Olympic Games. Then in 1909, he earned the title, “Professional Champion of the World,” after winning the World Professional Marathon Championships in New York City held at Madison Square Gardens.
Tom Longboat left his superstar athletic career to serve in the military during the First World War as a dispatch carrier with the 107th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force in France. He had the dangerous job of couriering dispatches to and from the front line.
In 1955, Tom Longboat became the first Indigenous athlete inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.