The beloved, iconic Johnny Kelley has passed at age 97. He completed 58 Boston Marathons, starting in the 1935. He won it twice, came in second seven times, and placed in the top ten 18 times.
He completed his final Boston Marathon in 1992 at the age of 84.
The next year, marathon officials dedicated a statue in his honor, “Young at Heart,” depicting him at 27, when he won his first marathon, shaking hands with his octogenarian self.
He inspired generations of runners, myself included, never took money for running, and did it because he loved it. He traditionally ended his public speeches by singing “Young at Heart.”