On the afternoon of April 20, 1912, fifteen-thousand people lined the streets of Los Angeles to witness 151 contestants compete in the Los Angeles Times Modified Marathon. Officials of the Times hosted the marathon to secure a Western candidate for the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, and news of the event attracted runners from across the nation. Two Hopi runners, Guy Maktima and Philip Zeyouma, from the Hopi Reservation in northeastern Arizona, stood beside the many athletes who gathered near the start line and waited for the sound of the pistol to begin the race.Sound good? The author of the article, Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert (he is Hopi), continues, saying that nobody took much notice of the Hopi runners. That changed halfway through the race:
When word spread among the thousands of spectators that the "Little Hopis" had broken away from the lead group, people rushed to the finish line and waited for the runners to make their final approach.Want more? The article, "Hopi Footraces and American Marathons, 1912-1930" is in the March 2010 issue of American Quarterly. I read about the article at Matt's blog, Beyond the Mesas. Here's an excerpt from there:
Not long after the school established its cross-country team, Zeyouma won the Los Angeles Times Modified Marathon in April 1912. His victory also gave him an opportunity to compete in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden.Congratulations, Matt, on the article, AND on having YOUR photographs used on the journal's front and back cover!
Teacher, librarians, parents... if you want a copy of the article and don't have access to it, send me an email and I'll send it to you. Write to me at dreese dot nambe at gmail dot com.