"Upton on Sports" Blog by Larry Upton

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Recent articles...

"BOSTON STRONG"....................
04/17/2014 @ 11:13 AM
The city of Boston celebrates "Patriots Day" with a "Marathon" that's considered the world's best known road racing event.

"GLADIATORS".................
04/16/2014 @ 05:32 PM
Hockey players want what NFL players recently received for concussions they suffered -"MONEY."... new class-action suits have been filed in federal courts.

"DOES ANYONE CARE?"....................
04/16/2014 @ 10:51 AM
One of baseball's stars approaching his 500th home run and no one seems to care...why is that?

"GOING BACKWARD'S "...................
04/15/2014 @ 10:51 AM
April 15th the day baseball honors the games first black player, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers - the date, April 15,1947.

"WHY FANS RIOT"...................
04/14/2014 @ 11:56 AM
There's a vast difference how European fans - American fans riot at sporting events...

The Prize - a "GREEN JACKET"...............
04/13/2014 @ 11:38 AM
When this day ends Golf's number 1 trophy, the Masters Green Jacket will become part of one of our PGA stars wardrobe............

"PRO ATHLETE" (not an easy job).................................
04/12/2014 @ 10:13 AM
Many sport Icons during their careers battled surgeries and diseases - yet still excited fans world-wide, and set records.....

The "ULTIMATE WARRIOR"...........
04/09/2014 @ 09:43 AM
Wrestling's super-star known as the "Ultimate Warrior" Tuesday lost his fight with the Grim Reaper.......

"SHOW ME THE MONEY"...........
04/08/2014 @ 09:52 AM
What does the future hold for college sports? No one involved with college programs can tell you... the threat of "unionization" the NCAA shaking in their dark blue suits......

"EVIL EMPIRE" - (I don't think so)..............
04/07/2014 @ 09:04 AM
Facebook recently examined which of the 30 Major League Baseball teams are most popular in each county nationwide..."Surprise" - it's the New York Empire...


"RUNNER" of the "CENTURY ".................

Posted on 04/18/2014 @ 11:30 AM


Have you ever heard the name Johnny Kelley?

He's a legend of the Boston Marathon - Kelley won the 1935 - 1945 races - finished second place a record seven times - he finished in the top five 15 times, consistently running in the 2:30s.

He ran his last full Boston Marathon in 1992 at the age of 84, (his 61st start) - for two more years he ran the last seven miles. The Boston Marathon was Kelley's favorite to run but it wasn't the only marathons he competed in. He ran the Yonkers marathon 29 times.

What many people forget is Johnny Kelley was a member of the U.S.Olympic Team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - the Olympic games where Germany's Adolph Hitler planned to show-off his blonde, blue eyes, "Superman Aryan athletes." The star of the track events a young American black athlete named Jesse Owens blew away his competition with his speed, winning "GOLD" for his efforts.
Owens capturing Gold medals from Hitler's "Super Men" chased the "Fuhrer" out of the stadium in disgrace and humiliation. Kelley ran in the Olympic Marathon event and finished 18th.

In 1993, a year after retiring, Marathon officials erected a statue in his honor at the base of "Heartbreak Hill" - the one hill during the 26 mile race that wipes out most runners.
The statue is titled "YOUNG AT HEART" - the sculpture depicts Kelley in his racing "twenties" grasping the upraised hand of another figure of himself, as a running "octogenarian." The message behind the statue of marathon racer Johnny Kelley simple.
"What if you could meet a version of yourself from the future - say, sixty years ahead - and benefit from the wisdom of a lifetime yet to be lived?"

Some say it's a novel idea - but his friends say the younger Johnny - bony, stringy, with none of the smooth flab of youth - "always" looked old, and his aged athletic self never developed a proper geriatric sag and slouch. Close pals say old Johnny kept his figure and hair his entire life. Johnny Kelley, champion runner lived to be 97 (died October 6,2004). He died on Cape Cod where he lived out his later life in South Yarmouth. He's buried on the Cape - his body rests at the Quivet Neck Cemetery in East Dennis.

For 34 years Cape Cod officials have honored his memory with their annual "Johnny Kelley Half Marathon" - also known as the Great Hyannis Road Race. It's always held over the Memorial Day weekend. This years race date is set for Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Johnny Kelley was a simple man - "running" the one pleasure that set him apart from all others. He was born in a small town outside of Boston (Medford) - one of ten children. He ran track and cross-country at nearby Arlington High School - he worked as a maintenance man for the local electric company - had four wives, and no kids. Running - racing - his passion.
Kelley (at age 65) told Boston reporters, "For me, the race these days is to try to beat the girls to the finish and to wave to all my old friends along the course."

At age 70 he was still running 50 miles a week and around 15 races a year.

Johnny Kelley, the "RUNNER OF THE CENTURY" told reporters, "I'm afraid to stop running. I feel too good. I want to stay alive."....................

Larry Upton
"Upton on Sports"
source: TrumanTaylor/wikipedia/roadsideamerica/