Wednesday, January 21, 2015

V. 5 N. 5 Gordon Dickson , Canada, RIP

January 20, 2015

Orville Atkins sends us this message and tribute to his friend Gordon Dickson former Canadian Marathon
champion and national record holder.
Gordon Dickson

Gordon Dickson, my friend and lifetime Idol passed away yesterday after a short illness.
Gordon was one of the best distance runners on the continent during the late 1950s and early  1960s.
He was 3rd in the Pan Am Games and 3rd in the Boston Marathons in 1959, a 1960 Olympian and carried 
the Canadian Flag in the 1962 Empire and Commonwealth Games.  He won both the Canadian Marathon 
and Hamilton's Around the Bay race (The oldest race on the continent) at least 6 times.  He won other 
Canadian Championship races.  Gord was a wonderful friend.  He was very unassuming. Only a couple 
runners on this continent could match him when he was not injured.

He gave away nothing about training but I just watched.  He was a great friend.  We ran together a number 
of times.  Once he brought Jim Green  with him and another time we were joined by Bruce Kidd who was a 
lot younger than we were.  Very memorable runs.  Gord was ahead of his time and studied the sport.  

At one point in his life he spent time in Kenya training distance runners.

I know he sometimes swam at noon.  Gord was very proud that he had beaten former Boston winner (1954) Veikko Karvonen in his 1959 Boston 
Orville Atkins

Sports Reference has a brief biography of Gordon Dickson

Gord Dickson started out as a high school miler, earning a track scholarship to [Drake University].
He attended graduate school at NYU, where he ran with the [New York AC]. Returning to Hamilton,
Ontario, Dickson moved up in distance, winning the 19+ mile Around the Bay Race in 1956-59 and
1964. He was Canadian marathon champion in 1957-60, 1962, and 1964, and Canadian cross-country
champion in 1957-59, also winning a national title on the track in the 6-mile in 1958. Dickson ran at
both the 1958 and 1962 Commonwealth Games, placing 5th in 1958 and 12th in 1962 in the marathon.
He won a bronze medal in the marathon at the 1959 Pan American Games. Dickson raced many times at
the Boston Marathon, with a best finish of third in 1959. His career was shortened by Achilles' tendon
problems, but in 1991 Dickson was made an inaugural member of the Canadian Road Running Hall of
Fame. His business career was in the business administration department of the Halton Board of
Education, where he worked for 25 years.
Personal Best: Marathon – 2-21:51 (1958).

Here is the progression of Canadian Marathon Records for both Men and Women.  Gordon held the Canadian record for over 7 years.

Canadian Men

Jerome Drayton2:10:08FukuokaDec 75
Jerome Drayton2:11:12FukuokaDec 69
Jerome Drayton2:12:00DetroitOct 69
Robert Moore2:18:55TorontoSep 69
Ron Wallingford2:19:24St HyacintheSep 66
Ron Wallingford2:21:27DetroitNov 65
Gordon Dickson2:21:50HamiltonMay 58
Walter Fedorick2:28:04HamiltonJul 51
Gerard Coté2:33:42Salisbury Beach, MAMay 41
Gerard Coté2:34:06YonkersNov 40
Walter Young2:34:47VerdunOct 38
James Bartlett2:36:35HamiltonSep 38
Harold Webster2:37:36HamiltonSep 31
Cliff Bricker2:39:24AmsterdamAug 28
Cliff Bricker2:40:05Buffalo NYMay 27
Percy Wyer2:51:10MontrealSep 26

Canadian Women

Lanni Marchant2:27:59Toronto WaterfrontOct 13
Silvia Ruegger2:28:36HoustonJan 85
Silvia Ruegger2:30:37OttawaMay 84
Jacqueline Gareau2:30:58TokyoNov 80
Jacqueline Gareau2:31:41MontrealSep 80
Linda Staudt2:37:39LondonAug 80
Christine Lavalee2:42:50OttawaMay 80
Gayle Olinekova2:44:04Waldniel, GermanySep 79
Gail McKean2:44:53VancouverMay 79
Christine Lavalee2:47:39OttawaMay 78
JoAnn McKinty2:57:40KitchenerOct 75
Maria Brzezinska3:03:15VancouverMay 74
Maureen Wilton3:15:22TorontoMay 67

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