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Canada’s leading pavement pounder

The March 27 1934 edition of the Toronto Globe featured this one-panel cartoon and write-up of a marathon runner based in Canada.

Taavi Komonen (1898-1978) emigrated to Canada from his native Finland in 1929, with his first name being anglicized to “Dave” at that time. When not struggling to find work, he was competing in marathons, winning the Canadian National Marathon championship in 1932. After finishing second in the Boston Marathon in 1933, he was forced to sell his running shoes to pay for a ticket back to Toronto.

He found employment in Sudbury, and was able to go to the Boston Marathon in 1934 thanks to financial aid. He won that year’s event by almost four minutes.

He lived in Sudbury until 1951, and then returned to Finland. He passed away exactly 44 years after winning in Boston.

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