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Word Count: 465
Tom Longboat who became Canadas most celebrated marathon runner grew up in a world stimulated by the revival of the Olympic Games In 1896 when he was nine years of age the first marathon of the modern era took place at the Olympics held in Athens Greece Early in his life it became clear that Longboat had the ability to become a great runner By 1910 he was widely recognized as one of Canadas leading athletes His crowning achievement came in 1909 when he was proclaimed Professional Champion of the World after winning a marathon in New Yorks Madison Square Gardens in which he defeated the worlds best runners including Alf Shrubb from Great Britain Longboat was born at Ohsweken on the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford Ontario on July 4 1887 His Onondaga Indian name was Cogwagee When he began to race competitively he developed the ability to call upon an energy reserve that enabled him to sprint just before the finish line This became the outstanding feature of his racing style Longboats first important road race took place in 1906 when he won the Around the Bay marathon in Hamilton Ontario Winning that event made him an instant celebrity and clearly established him as one of the favourites for any long-distance race he would enter When he won the 1907 Boston Marathon in the record time of 225004 he became the worlds premier marathoner He also won Torontos famous Wards Island Marathon from 1906 through 1908 He entered the Olympic marathon in London England in 1908 but unfortunately collapsed after twenty miles as did a second runner Dorado Pietri Rumours spread that they had been using drugs to improve their performance especially since Longboats handlers had told numerous people that their runner was certain to win When Longboat returned to Canada he was determined to take personal charge of his training This led to conflict with his
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