Famed First Nation long distance runner of the 1920’s
Stratford, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony, October 18, 2014
The Michael Thomas bronze statue is surrounded by The Diversity Fountain in Stratford, Canada. A Mi’Kmaq runner, Thomas was an athlete in the early years of the last century and was later compared to legendary First Nations runner Tom Longboat of Ontario.
Thomas was born on Lennox Island in 1885 and died in 1954. He was in his mid-20s when Father John A. MacDonald encouraged him to take up running competitively. Thomas won the Charlotetown Patriot 10 mile race in 1909, 1910 and 1911 and other races around the Maritimes.
He was the first Islander to ever run in the Boston Marathon in 1911. He finished 26th with a time better than that of the winner from two years previous. His feat was doubly amazing because he ran the 26 mile course without water because the cyclist carrying his refreshment was involved in an accident.