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  1916 Roth Is First Bostonian to Win B.A.A. Race

Wednesday, April 19, 12:00 p.m.

1. Arthur Roth, Dorchester, MA 2:27:16
2. Willie Kyronen, New York, NY 2:27:27
3. Sydney Hatch, Chicago, IL 2:28:30
4. James Corkery, Toronto, Ontario 2:30:34
5. William Brown, Dorchester, MA 2:34:18

President Wilson's mandate to Germany to end indiscriminate submarine warfare in the wake of an attack on the Sussex, an English passenger vessel, knocked the Boston Marathon off the front page this year.

For the Marathon, 1916 was a year witnessing the absence of a previous years' winners and, to all spectators' surprise, the frail-looking, 116-pound Arthur Roth edged out a victory over New York's Willie Kyronen by just 11 seconds, a course record.

In the last leg of the race, spectators thought Roth's form--swinging arms, tilted head, and awkward breathing pattern--spelled doom for the runner, whose dogged determination and intensive training narrowly edged out the innate speed of second-place Kyronen.

This year, the B.A.A. refused 60-year-old Peter Foley's request to officially run the Marathon. But the B.A.A. decision didn't stop Foley; he ran anyway.

From the Boston Globe, Thursday, April 20, 1916

Kyronen on His Heels Second, Hatch Third, Corkery Fourth
Field in the B.A.A. Classic Cheered by an Enormous Crowd---Time 2h 27m 16 2-5s

The lead:

His head tilted backward and lolling from side to side, running on his last ounce of strength, Arthur V. Roth of the Dorchester Club finished yesterday courageously, pugnaciously even, the tremendous task he had imposed upon himself 2h 27m 16 2-5s earlier and won the 20 annual B.A.A. Marathon run. It was the first time a resident of Boston has won the race.

The race:

Roth sped through Wellesley, receiving the plaudits of the college girl students, at 1:03:46, 55 seconds ahead of Davis, the second man, and 1 minute 15 seconds ahead of Kennedy. Kyronen was 10th. At Woodland Park Roth was more than a minute and a half in front of Davis and Kennedy and 16 miles from the start. It was at this point, beginning in the hills, that Corkery began his run and soon passed Kyronen and Hatch. Kyronen fell in behind Corkery and matched him stride for stride over the stiff grades.

It was while passing St. John's Seminary at Lake st, Brighton, that Roth showed the first signs of distress. As he swung into Beacon st. from Chestnut Hill av, Corkery and Kyronen, running as though yoked, hove into view behind. Roth called for water and Coach McVicar supplied his charge with dripping handkerchiefs with which to wipe his burning brow and grimy face.

The conditions of the race were only fairly good, the warm sun drying the roads after Tuesday's rain so thoroughly that the runners and machines stirred up clouds of dust that was wafted into the faces of the contestants by the northwest wind which quartered in the runners until they resembled grimy millers.

Between Ashland and Framingham the road was soft, sandy and muddy in turn and the runners suffered from the dust. It was 12:24:15 when Mike Lynch of Washington and Roth sped past the railroad depot ahead. Roth had a lead of 75 yards at Natick, and was then more than four minutes behind the record. Young Davis had run into second place, with Bill Kennedy, the Chicago veteran, at his heels.

Then began the Finn's (Kyronen) great race to the finish. Picking up his feet like a sprinter, he gave chase to Roth, who was nearly half a mile ahead. Friendly automobilists told Roth of the approach of his most dreaded rival. The race became heart-breaking and the crowds were wild. The result has been detailed.

Hatch was more than a minute back of Kyronen at the finish and Corkery was two minutes behind the Chicago vet, but almost four minutes ahead of young Brown. Kennedy, the Chicago bricklayer, was greeted with continuous salvos as he finished in sixth place, and Jamieson, the Canadian Indian, was also accorded a warm reception.

The winner:

Arthur V. Roth, the winner, was born in Dorchester, and lives at 331 Ruggles st, Roxbury. He is a tracer in an architect's office. His races in 1912 and 1913 were principally in 10-mile road races, although in the latter year, he finished 31st in a field of 1500 in the New York Evening Mail modified Marathon race.

But Roth did more than achieve Marathon honors for his native city. He dissolved the three-cornered tie for Marathon supremacy between New York, Canada, and New England. Until yesterday, each section had won six races apiece and one race had gone to a Westerner, Fritz Carlson of Minneapolis. Roth's win places this section of the country in the lead in point of Marathon winners.