Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grand Marshal

No name is more synonymous with the Boston Marathon than Johnny Kelley. John A. Kelley, the elder, won the race in 1935 and 1945, and competed on 61 occasions. John J. Kelley (no relation), the younger, finished second five times, winning his lone Boston Marathon title 50 years ago, on April 20, 1957. The younger Kelley also linked several generations of Boston legends. After being mentored by John A. Kelley, he guided Amby Burfoot to the 1968 Boston crown; Burfoot, in turn, inspired his college roommate, Bill Rodgers, who went on to win four Boston Marathons. John J. Kelley returns this year in the role of Grand Marshal, and will ride the course in a convertible. Kelley will then run the final stretch of Boylston Street, through a ceremonial break-tape at the finish line.