CT Men Who Won Boston Marathon

As the world’s best runners took to the Boston streets Monday, there are two men and one team from Connecticut who took on the speediest of their time and won the Boston Marathon.

On April 20, 1957, John J. Kelley, of New London, won the 61st Boston Marathon in 2:20:05.

It was the first time a Connecticut resident won, according to the list of Boston Marathon winners posted online, and he set a course record for the new course.

In 1968, Ambrose Burfoot, of Groton Long Point, won the 72nd Boston Marathon in 2:22:17, and in 1994, the Athlete’s Foot Racing Team from Connecticut won for teams in 7:35:23.

Kelley, known as “The Younger,” ran in the Boston Marathon 16 times between 1953 and 1970.

Unlike today, where there are cash prizes, Kelley ran 52 years ago for “a bowl of stew,” his then-roommate told the Boston Globe, and the possibility of a medal with a diamond chip. /

In 2002, he was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame http://www.runningpast.com/kelley_speech.htm. In 2007, he was the grand marshal for the marathon.

Burfoot went on to become the longtime executive editor of Runner’s World Magazine and wrote famous running guides, including “The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life.”  He is still writing “Footloose,” a blog on Runner’s World’s Web site. 

Ten Connecticut residents are running Monday’s marathon.

The other Connecticut connection to the elite Boston Marathon is that the Hartford Marathon, run here in October, is a qualifier race.

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