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Black American Running History: 100 Years Ago!

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  • Black American Running History: 100 Years Ago!

    Black American Running History: 100 Years Ago!
    Aaron Morris
    The First Known Negro Runner (1919) to Compete in the Boston Marathon
    Running History April 19, 1919:
    Aaron Morris running for the St. Christopher Athletic Club finishes 6th place at the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:37:31. The race had 25 finishers and was won by Carl Linder in 2:29:13.

    “Aaron Morris who has proven himself the world’s greatest colored distancer.” New York Age – May 6, 1915
    “Aaron Morris America’s greatest negro distancer.” The Morning Call (Patterson NJ) – March 25, 1916

    Clifton or Clifford “Cliff” Mitchell
    The 2nd Known Negro Runner (1920) to Compete in the Boston Marathon
    Running History April 19, 1920:
    Clifton Mitchell running for the St. Christopher Athletic Club finishes 8th place at the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:41:43. He would run this race again in 1921-13th and 1922-11th. The race had 60 starters and was won by Peter Trivoulidas in 2:29:31.


    “Of short build and with form and stride not unlike Aaron Morris who he succeeds as the best colored marathon runner in the county.” New York Age – July 10, 1920

    1920: First place in the American Legion of Philadelphia 16 mile marathon. His winning time was 1:40:08.

    The New York Age – September 25, 1920 wrote the following:
    “That Cliff Mitchell brought home the beautiful $300 trophy donated by the Philadelphia Inquirer to the winner of the Legion Marathon was not due to any assistance given him by the officials or spectators along the route. On the contrary the official’s car gave Grubbs the second man every attention in their effort to have him catch and beat Mitchell. The lot of the colored athlete is a hard one.”

    John Goff
    Becomes the 3rd Known Negro Runner (1921) to Compete in the Boston Marathon
    Running History April 20, 1921:
    John Goff running for the St. Christopher Athletic Club finishes 9th place at the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:37:35. The race was won by Frank Zuna in 2:18:57. The course measured 24.5 miles.


    Gary Corbitt
    Curator: Ted Corbitt Archives
    For more running history visit: www.tedcorbitt.com
    Historian: National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA)
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