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New York's Zuna Sets Course Record

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

1. Frank ZunaNew York, NY 2:18:57
2. Chuck Mellor, Chicago, IL 2:22:12
3. Peter Trivoulidas, New York, NY 2:27:41
4. Carl Linder, Quincy, MA 2:28:02
5. A.R. Michelson, Stamford, CT 2:30:35

Although he qualified for the U.S. Olympic marathon team, Frank Zuna was not allowed to run by Coach Mike Ryan because he didn't think Zuna was fit enough to run to the coach's satisfaction.

Chuck Mellor and Zuna ran together until the Newton hills, where Mellor, tired by the relentless hills, saw his friend move further ahead. Zuna ran alone as the front runner, with Mellor a few minutes behind. This would hold true to the race's finish, where Zuna and Mellor, to the astonishment of the B.A.A. crowd, would share a victory bath.

When B.A.A. officials prodded him to stay for a public celebration, Zuna refused, saying he had to catch a train back to New York to work the next morning. He changed his mind only after hearing that Mellor would be joining in the festivities.

From the Boston Globe, Wednesday, April 20, 1921

Mellor Shaken Off After Desperate 17-Mile Struggle--Time, 2:18:57 3-5, Cuts Record 2 Min. 20-3/5 Sec.
Trivoulidas Gets Third Prize

The lead:

Two hours, 18 minutes, 57 3-5 seconds!

Frank Zuna, representing the Paulist A.C. of New York, yesterday afternoon set up those figures as a record for the future undoubtedly will look up to those figures, as did the premier runners of the world look for eight long years at the old mark, for in the biting east wind of yesterday afternoon, the Newark long-distance running star wiped out the seemingly insurmountable record of Mike Ryan, 2h 21m 18 1-5s, made in 1912.

The race:

So well did he (Zuna) run the hills, moving with an easy, graceful stride uphill and down, that at Lake st he was only 16 seconds behind the record figures, and Zuna seemed to become possessed with a new lease of life. The record was within his grasp, if his strength would last.

Never faltering for nourishment, disdaining the cooling application of a water-soaked sponge on his tilted head and neck, he set his every muscle for the final rush. Mellor was 200 yards in his wake as he dipped over the brow of the hill abreast of Boston College at Hammond st, and the gap had been widened when the leader flashed past Lake st. He bent his body slightly at the waist as he tackled the almost imperceptible incline between Lake st and Chestnut Hill av. But he never slackened his pace.

But there still remained plenty of opportunity and plenty of distance in which to meet defeat. Mellor, tired but unbeaten, was only 33 seconds behind at Coolidge Corner, and he was yet swinging along with that ground-devouring, shuffling stride that had landed him a winner by eight seconds over the same Zuna at Detroit 17 days earlier.

To "Dick" Reinston, driver of the White automobile which was used for the 17th consecutive year is covering the race, the Globe is indebted for the dispatch with which the reporter was whisked from one checking point to another. Reinston's was the most expert exemplification of the driver's art within the writer's experience in reporting Marathon races.

The winner:

A native of Newark, but of Bohemian ancestry, Zuna looked fit to run the race of his life once he got into action. Twenty-seven years old, weighing 151 pounds, and with the muscles of his legs and arms supple and tough as whipcord because of his employment--he is a plumber--the ultimate winner seemed to tower over his rivals in physique.

Strength and vitality then told, the rigors of Army life on the Mexican border and on the 27th Pioneer Division in France stood Zuna in good stead. He steeled himself to the hardship of running that hill as though he were on level ground--and his tactics momentarily broke the heart of the less robust Mellor.