Jerome Drayton (born January 10, 1945 in Kolbermoor, Bavaria, Germany) is a former long-distance runner who competed internationally for Canada. He was born as Peter Buniak in Germany, and came to Canada in the mid-1950s when his mother moved there after divorcing his father. He reportedly based his new name on two famous sprinters he admired: Canadian former world record holder Harry Jerome and American Paul Drayton, former world record holder in the 4x100m as part of the American relay team. A prominent runner in the 1970s, when he was for a time ranked as the top marathoner in the world, he won the Fukuoka Marathon in 1969, 1975, and 1976, as well as the Boston Marathon in 1977. He is the Canadian record holder in the marathon, with his best time of 2:10:08, set in 1975 at the Fukuoka Marathon; he has held the Canadian record since 1969, after breaking the then record of 2:18:55 set by Robert Moore a month earlier.
Drayton was born as Peter Buniak on January 10, 1945, in Munich, Germany, to parents of Russian-Ukrainian background. Having been born as the Second World War was coming to an end and extreme poverty was widespread, Drayton and his parents had traveled to Germany from Poland aboard a cattle train. Drayton’s parents eventually divorced and his mother, who had custody of him, moved to Canada and then brought Drayton over to Toronto in November, 1956, when he was 11 years old. When he took up running in high school, Drayton’s single-mindedness quickly became evident and it wasn’t long before he won top-calibre events. After winning the Ontario high school championships for Mimico High School, he was recruited to the Toronto Olympic Club, where he began working with national distance running coach Paul Poce.