The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat

Tundra BooksSKU: 9780887765070

Author:
Batten, Jack
Grade Levels:
Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Nation:
Iroquois, Onondaga, Woodland
Book Type:
PB
Pages:
104
Publisher:
Tundra Books

Price:
Sale price$16.99
Stock:
In stock

Description

The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat is a recent biography about the contribution made by a Six Nations athlete to Canadian sports history. Tom Longboat (1887-1949) was a member of the Onondaga Nation born on the Six Nations Reserve. He entered competitive running in 1905 at the height of a racing craze that had swept North America. As an amateur and a professional athlete, Longboat gained the admiration of thousands of racing fans. He won the Boston Marathon in 1907 in record time and competed in the 1908 Olympics. The Olympic race ended in disappointment as rumours of strychnine doping are brought to light in Jack Batten's book. Batten is a well-known Canadian writer and has taken on the subject of the sports hero at the beginning of the 20th century. Batten documents Longboat's life and times in a highly readable style. He uncovers unscrupulous managers, bigoted sports writers (Lou March) and corrupt race officials. Marathon racing was a huge spectator sport, and Longboat participated in numerous professional events. His unorthodox running style and training regime drew negative criticism during his lifetime. Today, modern athletes and trainers consider Longboat's training methods and style to be commonplace. Longboat served in World War l as an army runner, and upon his return to Canada set off for farming in the West. That proved difficult and he returned to Toronto where he and his family lived for years. Batten covers the racial attitudes of the times as well as the methods used by business managers who handled Longboat's career. The managers ended up with wealth while Longboat struggled to make a living. Throughout the story, Longboat's voice is never heard, all the comments come from Non-Native viewpoints. This is the main fault of the book. Nevertheless the book is a fresh look at Tom Longboat's extraordinary running career. Bruce Kidd's book, Tom Longboat, published in 1980 remains the standard biography of a remarkable sports hero. The Man Who Ran Faster than Everyone contains several archival photographs, an index, and a bibliography. It will appear to senior elementary students as well as the general reader who wants a sports biography that avoids the hype of today's sports figures.

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