HISTORY OF FINNISH CHAMPIONS AT THE BOSTON MARATHON
Over the decades, the Finns have raced well at the Boston Marathon and 2022 marks the 50th anniversary since the last Finn won the Monday marathon. If you scour the results, you can find a large number of Finnish runners listed in the top pages. The Finns have won in Boston a total of seven times and two more names could have been added to the list, but the victors changed their citizenship prior to breaking the tape. The earliest winners from Finland were immigrants Carl Linder and Taavi “Dave” Komonen. Linder moved to the United States in 1893 with his parents at the age of four and would go on to win the Boston Marathon in 1919. Komonen, changed his citizenship to Canadian, but later returned to Finland. Komonen tried to win in 1933, but had to bow to the overwhelming Leslie Pawson. Poor and unemployed, the shoemaker Komonen had to sell his shoes for $4 after the race to get home. However, he would return to Boston the following year and win the race with his self-made deerskin shoes. The victory in Boston was a straightforward miracle, as Komonen had been starving for years before winning the big race.