Thomas Charles Longboat - Notable First Nations People
Thomas Charles Longboat was an Onondaga distance runner from the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario and, for much of his career, the dominant long-distance runner. He was known as the "bulldog of Britannia" and was a soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War. He won first place in multiple races during his career, such as the Around the Bay Road Race in Hamilton, Ontario, the Boston Marathon ( where he won in the record time of 2:24:24 over the old 24+1⁄2-mile course - four minutes and 59 seconds faster than any of the previous ten winners of the event), and the 1908 Olympic Games marathon. Longboat also served as a dispatch runner in France in World War I, surviving multiple shellings and even being trapped for 6 days by an explosion in a bunker with his comrades. He has been referred to as "one of the greatest, if not the greatest marathoner of all time." Longboat was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, and has been awarded multiple other awards and honors posthumously.