Winners: Dave (Taavi) Komonen, Athletics

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David Komonen winning the Boston Marathon

David Komonen winning the Boston Marathon in
Date: April 19, 1934
Collection: Boston Athletic Association

1933 - Feature Story

Dave (Taavi) Komonen was born in Finland and had already developed a passion for long distance running by the time he moved to Canada in 1929. A carpenter, he settled in Toronto and began to run and race in between jobs, which became increasingly scarce with the onset of the depression. Luckily, he also had cobbler’s skills and was at times able to survive on money he earned from making and selling running shoes. Naturally, he wore his own shoes in races and in 1933 they carried him to an impressive second-place finish in the prestigious Boston Marathon. He also won his second Canadian National Marathon Championship in Toronto. Although he couldn’t be credited as an American national champion, Komonen also won the 1933 Amateur Athletic Union 25km Championship and later grabbed an early lead and never looked back to win the AAU Marathon Championship in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 43 seconds.

Career Highlights

  • 1934 Winner of the Boston Marathon
  • 1933 Lionel Conacher Award (Canada’s male athlete of the year)
  • 1933, 1934 United States National Marathon Championship
  • 1933 Second place in the Boston Marathon
  • 1931, 1933, 1934 Canadian National Marathon Championship

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