June 22, 2003 by

Johnny Miles

6 comments

Categories: Sports

Johnny Miles was a 20-year-old grocery delivery boy from Nova Scotia when he won the 1926 Boston Marathon, defeating the reigning Olympic champion, Albin Stenroos and Boston Marathon favorite, Clarence DeMar.
The next year, Miles dropped out of the race after he suffered from severe blisters caused by the ultra thin soles his father had created in order to make him run faster. In 1929, Miles tried again, and won the marathon.
Miles died on June 14 in Ontario. Cause of death was not released. He was 97.

6 Responses to Johnny Miles

  1. Valerie

    While residing in Nova Scotia, Canada, we had the pleasure of seeing a play about Johnny Miles at “The Ships Company Theatre,” Parrsboro, NS, Summer 2001. It was such a treat to learn about this man through some very talented actors.

  2. margaret o'malley

    Johnny was my mother’s first cousin,who is Leinad Mary (Moore)O’Malley. Her mother was Ethel Miles, sister of Johnny’s brother John William. My mother is still living, and at 90 years old, recalls Johnny as the most famous and popular of all her relatives. Even now, as several of my own cousins and I research family history, we have not found anyone with more widely available historical notes!!

  3. Peter L. Tracey

    I am saddened to learn of the passing of Johnny Miles, one of the great champions of the Boston Marathon. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Johnny, I felt a great kinship with him after reading Mr. Williston’s excellent biography of Miles, which should be required reading for all distance runners.
    Johnny’s 1929 win at Boston has served as an inspiration for me in running and in life, because it demonstrated that despite adversity, with hard work and determination success is ultimately attainable.
    Johnny Miles will always be one of my personal heroes.
    Peter L. Tracey
    Washington, DC

  4. Barry Trenholm

    I recently checked the archives for the New Glasgow evening news for 1927. It claimed Johnnie dropped out from a upset stomach and DeMar won that year for his forth time.

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