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.
The losing captain thanked the winning team’s players for their personal sacrifices leading into the match and a charter flight pilot received a big round of applause when his plane beat incoming fog to touch down after midnight following another game as feel-good stories off the field matched those on it as the National Rugby League (NRL) restarted its season in Australia over the weekend. The New Zealand Warriors’ 18-0 win over St George Illawarra was the Auckland-based team’s first of the season after three rounds and it could not have come at a better time. Due to international travel restrictions
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged
Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point. Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung. Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County. Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent
DISTANCING RULES: The government said social distancing should be maintained during disputes and celebrations, but conceded it would not be possible during play The Premier League on Saturday was given British government approval to press ahead with its June 17 restart, although players will have to stay apart during goal celebrations and disputes to maintain social distancing. Further details of the league’s plans for dealing with COVID-19 cases have been disclosed with clubs likely to have to play even if they only have 15 fit squad members. In a further boost to the league’s restart plans, there were no positives in the fourth round of twice-weekly testing. Tests were conducted on 1,130 players and club personnel on Thursday and Friday as contact training resumed. The season