John A. Kelley, who ran 61 Boston Marathons, won two and became almost as celebrated as the race itself, died on Wednesday in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts. He was 97. \nA stepson, David DeLong, said Kelley died in a nursing home, less than three hours after he arrived from his home in nearby East Dennis. \nKelley was a Boston sports hero in the mold of Ted Williams, Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Bobby Orr, but of that illustrious group the only one home grown and the only amateur. He ran perhaps 1,500 races, including 112 marathons, and won 22 diamond rings, 118 watches, one refrigerator and no money. \nThe Boston Marathon is the world's most storied running event. In 1935, Kelley covered its 26 miles 385 yards in 2 hours 32 minutes 7 seconds to win for the first time. In 1945, his winning time was 2:30:40, the fastest in the world that year. \nHe finished Boston 58 times, took second seven times and placed among the Top10 finishers 18 times. After his second victory, the next American winner at Boston was the unrelated John J. Kelley in 1957. When John J. won, he became known as Kelley the Younger and his predecessor and hero Kelley the Elder. \nWhen the Elder grew elder, he kept running the Boston race. An hour or more after the leaders had passed by, he and his white hair and his gnarled and bony body, all 5 feet 6 inches and 130 pounds of him, would arrive. \nAt 65, he said, "For me, the race these days is to try to beat the girls to the finish and to wave to all my old friends along the course." At 70, when he was running 50 miles a week and 15 to 17 races a year, he said: "I'm afraid to stop running. I feel too good. I want to stay alive." \nEven in his later years, he ran every day except one, the day before the Boston Marathon. But by 1992, when he was 84, his time at Boston had slowed to 5:58:36. That was his last full marathon. In 1993 and 1994, he ran only the last seven miles, starting at his statue on Heartbreak Hill. Starting in 1995, he was the grand marshal, riding in a convertible at the head of the race and waving to an adoring public. \nIn 1999, hospitalized with pneumonia, he missed the race. He sent a tape that was played at the champions' breakfast two days before the race, his Irish-tenor rendition of his favorite song, "Young at Heart." \nWhen the late Will Cloney was director of the Boston Marathon, he said, "Johnny Kelley is as traditional as the marathon itself." Normally, the runners wore their race numbers on the front. One year, Kelley put numbers on his front and back. \n"I'll never do that again," he said after the race. "All these runners from behind recognized me. `How are you, Mr. Kelley?' Bang. Slapped me on the back." \nJohn Adelbert Kelley was born Sept. 6, 1907, in West Medford, Massachusetts, and grew up in Medford, the eldest of 10 children of a letter carrier who lived to be 96. At 11, in a Boston park, the youngster ran his first race, a 100-yard dash for children. First prize was a large piece of maple-sugar candy with walnuts. His brother Jim won. \nIn high school, Kelley was a 4:40 miler. He had no money for college and in 1937 became an electrical maintenance worker for the Boston Edison. \nIn 1928, when Calvin Coolidge was president, Kelley ran his first marathon and finished 17th. A month later, in his first Boston Marathon, he became so tired that he started walking and, after 21 miles, dropped out. But he was hooked, and the Boston race became the center of his life. \nHe made three US Olympic teams in the marathon, finishing 18th in Berlin in 1936 and 21st in London in 1948. The Olympics were canceled in 1940 because of war in Europe. \nIn 1950, he became the first road runner elected to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. That was the only time the officials waived the rule requiring that an athlete be retired at least five years, reasoning that he would never retire.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions