by Jack Batten
Distance running was once a very popular pastime, and Tom Longboat was its star. A member of the Onondaga Nation, he won the 1907 Boston Marathon and competed at the London Olympics in 1908. He also won many other races of varying lengths (3, 12, 15, or 20 miles), both indoor and outdoor. Along the way he had to deal with stereotypes, prejudice, and unscrupulous managers. His story is told with dignity and praise for a life well-lived despite hardship and disappointment in later years.