Mateo Flores

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Mateo Flores
Personal information
Born February 11, 1922

Mateo Flores, born Doroteo Guamuch Flores (February 11, 1922 – August 11, 2011),[1] was a Guatemalan long-distance runner who won several international events, including the Boston Marathon in 1952.


Flores was born in Cotió, Mixco, a town near Guatemala City. During his early athletic career, Flores worked in as a low-paid laborer in a textile factory. He would wake at 4:00 am to run for two hours, and run an additional two hours after returning from work at 6:00 pm.

Flores' career spanned from 1941 to 1957; prior to winning the 1952 Boston Marathon, he was the winner of multiple international races, notably the marathon at the 1946 Barranquilla Games, the half marathon at the 1950 Central American and Caribbean Games in Guatemala, and the marathon at the 1955 Pan American Games in Mexico City. He also participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki.

1952 Boston Marathon[edit]

On April 19, 1952, Flores participated in the Boston Marathon, a major international racing event. He took the lead from his countryman Luis H. Velasquez after the first ten miles, and, against any predictions, finished ahead of U.S. competitor Victor Dyrgall by almost five minutes, recording a time of 2 hours, 31 minutes, and 53 seconds. His record remained as a national record for Guatemala for seventeen years, until November 5, 1969, when it was broken by Julio Quevedo.[2]

Honors and Awards[edit]

The Boston achievement made Flores a sports icon in his country, and the Guatemalan government paid him tribute by renaming the national stadium in Guatemala City to Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores. He was treated as a national hero by the Guatemalan government, which also awarded him the Order of the Quetzal (the nation's highest civilian honor).

Life after retirement[edit]

Flores became a Professor of physical education after his retirement. He has also been a golf caddy working at the Guatemala Country Club and occasional player. He was a practicing Roman Catholic.

References and footnotes[edit]

External links[edit]