Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Former winner Neil Cusack plans to run 2014 Boston Marathon ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Former winner Neil Cusack plans to run 2014 Boston Marathon ...

Neil Cusack, the only Irish man to win the Boston Marathon has announced that he plans to run the 2014 race as a gesture "to those who died and were injured, their families, and all the great people of Boston".

The 61 year old Limerick man won the Boston Marathon back in 1974 in a time of 2:13:39, the only Irish man to win the race. 2014 would also be the 40th anniversary of his win.

In an interview, he said....."I'd make a prediction that next year's event will be absolutely unblieveable, and I'm glad I'm going to be back there, because they'll want to show a total good feeling about the event, and the Americans will be behind it 1000%. I think it would be an idea for other champions to do as well. Imagine 10 or 12 of us, running together, and just get through it, together - it'd be a nice gesture. I am in good shape and go for a run every weekend. The Boston Marathon is a national treasure and I was devastated to see the horrific scenes on the TV. I remember the day of my win like yesterday — I was attending the University of East Tennessee. When I got to Boston I took a shamrock emblem from an old vest and put it onto the one I was wearing in the race to show I was Irish. I was cheered all the way along the route. What a day. They are a great people and a great city. To run next year would be a gesture to show how all our thoughts are with them. I think there will be a massive surge of support for the city when the race is held in 2014 and I plan to be there at the start with all the other athletes. Boston has given so much to me and I want to give something back.”

Neil Cusack represented Ireland in the 1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Olympics. He also won the Dublin marathon in 1981.

Neil Cusack winning the 1974 Boston Marathon


Anonymous said...

No disrespect to Neil Cusack on his fine performance in winning the 1974 event. But was not the winner in 1903 - John C Lordan (Lorden) Irish. Born near Bandon, Co Cork.

Anonymous said...

John Treacy set the Irish marathon record in Boston in 1988 running a cracking race coming 3rd

Anonymous said...

Lorden was born in Cork but became a naturalized American in 1898. So whether he should be considered an Irish runner at the time is a matter of interpretation.

Malcolm McCausland said...

Another Irish winner of Boston Marathon -
Jimmy McNiff/Duffy (born May 1, 1890, in County Sligo, Ireland – died April 23, 1915, outside Ypres, Belgium) was a distance runner from Canada, one of the world's best marathon runners at the beginning of the 20th century. He participated in the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm (5th) and was the winner of the 1914 Boston Marathon.

Born in Ireland, Duffy grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland after moving there with his family as a child. According to his own later account, Duffy participated in cross-country races in Scotland, winning many of them. In 1911 he emigrated to Canada, where he worked in Toronto as a tinsmith and stonecutter. In his spare time he visited the Central YMCA, the director of which quickly recognized his talent.

Representing the Central YMCA, Duffy came in second in the 1911 Ward Marathon, a twenty-mile event in Toronto. During the race Duffy stopped to argue with supporters of another runner. In May 1912, he ran the Spectator Marathon in Hamilton, Ontario, which served that year as the Canadian Olympic trial. The race, which was reduced to nineteen miles, was run in exceedingly hot and humid weather. Only eight of twenty-five starters finished the race. Duffy himself had overestimated his strength, but qualified for the Olympics by finishing in second place behind Harry Jensen of the United States, who passed him in the final mile and won by twenty seconds.

Representing the Eaton Athletic Club of Toronto, Duffy placed fifth in the marathon at the 1912 Summer Olympics in Stockholm, which also took place in very high temperatures, resulting in the death of Portuguese runner Francisco Lázaro. In October 1912 Duffy won both the Ward Marathon and the Hamilton Herald's race around Hamilton Bay, setting a new course record in the latter event. After the Hamilton Bay race Duffy accepted full-time coaching from athletic trainer Tommy Thomson, who persuaded him to relocate to Hamilton, where he joined the Ramblers Club.

With Thomson as trainer, Duffy won seven consecutive marathons, including one in Yonkers, New York. On April 20, 1914, Duffy won the Boston Marathon in 2:25:01. His success had gotten around and he was so much the favorite that the Boston bookmakers would not take high bets on his victory. The race developed into a thriller, with fellow Canadian runner Édouard Fabre matching Duffy's pace throughout. Only in the final mile did Duffy gain a small lead, winning the race by fifteen seconds. Duffy's first request after his victory was for a cigarette, and after his post-race medical examination he asked for a bottle of beer.

After the Boston Marathon Duffy turned professional, losing his first professional race to Édouard Fabre. Duffy enlisted in the Canadian Army at the outbreak of World War I. He joined the 91st Argyle Regiment and was subsequently transferred to the 16th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Duffy was killed in a charge against the Germans while serving with the 16th Battalion in the Second Battle of Ypres on April 23, 1915, eight days before his twenty-fifth birthday and four days after Édouard Fabre won the 1915 Boston Marathon.[1]