James Crowley (athlete)

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James Crowley

James F. "Jim" Crowley was an American athlete, distance runner, and a member of the Irish American Athletic Club. In 1910, he was known as "King of the Marathoners"[1] for having competed in and won more marathons than any of the athletes of his day.[dubious ]

In 1908, Crowley won the second oldest marathon in the U.S., the Yonkers Marathon, held on Thanksgiving Day, sponsored by the Mercury Athletic Club of Yonkers, New York, "winning from a large and classy field in the excellent time of 2 hours 49 minutes 16.4 seconds."[1] "Before a crowd of nearly twenty thousand uproarious enthusiasts ... James F. Crowley of the Irish American Athletic Club, crossed the tape, a winner of the biggest and probably the most spectacular event of its kind ever held in America."[2]

On December 26, 1908, he finished second to Matthew Maloney in the marathon from Rye to Columbus Circle, New York."[1] Crowley again finished second to Maloney in an indoor marathon before 5,000 "wildly cheering" spectators held within the second Madison Square Garden on January 8, 1909 (3:00:26).[3] Maloney was reported to have set a new indoor record for the event in a time of 2:54:45.4.[3]

Approximately 110,000 spectators were reported to have turned out to see 180 runners compete in the New Jersey Athletic Club Marathon on May 15, 1909.[4] With "scorching heat" noted to have affected many of the athletes, Crowley recorded a time of 3:07:16 and "won by a mile" over Harry Jensen of the Pastime Athletic Club.[4]

On September 6, 1909, The New York Times reported "nearly every athlete of note in the Metropolitan Association of the Amateur Athletic Association" competed in the Irish American Athletic Club's Tailtin Games before 7,000 spectators at Celtic Park.[5] Crowley won the two-mile steeplechase in a time of 11:12.[5]

In 1909, Crowley held the following A.A.U indoor records:

  • 16-Mile Run - 1:39:07
  • 17-Mile Run - 1:46:07
  • 20-Mile Run - 2:07:11
  • 21-Mile Run - 2:14:35
  • Indoor Marathon - 2:38:48[6]

On November 14, 1910, at Celtic Park, Queens, New York, on the track of the Irish American Athletic Club, Crowley broke every A.A.U mile and half mile record from 10½ miles to 17 miles (27 km).[7]


  1. ^ a b c 1910 Mecca Cigarettes Champion Athlete and Prize Fighter Series trading card.
  2. ^ "J.F. Crowley Wins Yonkers Marathon." New York Times, Nov. 27, 1908.
  3. ^ a b "MALONEY WINS MARATHON RACE; Trinity A.C. Runner Beats Big Field in Madison Square Garden. COVERS COURSE IN 2:53:06 Winner in Rye to New York Race Scores a Popular Victory Before a Big and Wildly Cheering Crowd" (pdf). The New York Times. New York. November 9, 1909. Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  4. ^ a b "110,000 SEE N.J. MARATHON; GREAT TURNOUT FOR JERSEY CITY RUN" (pdf). The New York Sun. New York. May 16, 1909. p. 11. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "THREE NEW RECORDS IN TAILTIN GAMES; Emilio Lunghi of Italy Cuts Down Time in 700 Yards to 1 Minute 27 2-5 Seconds. FAST TIME OVER HURDLES J.J. Eller Reduces Copeland's World's Time, and Platt Adams Cuts Hop, Step and Jump Record" (pdf). The New York Times. New York. September 7, 1909. Retrieved May 14, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Athletic Records for indoor Season." New York Times, May 23, 1909.
  7. ^ "Cleveland Wants 1916 Olympic Meet."New York Times, Nov. 22, 1910.

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