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The Boston Marathon’s Italian roots

Runners approach the colorful finish line of the 104th Boston Marathon in 2000. Photo by Frank Clerici Sr.

By Paul Camilio Clerici While the turn-of-the-century roots of Boston Marathon history are predominantly Irish via the organizing 129-year-old Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.), there is an impressive Italian presence. Lawrence Brignolia, an Italian-American blacksmith from Cambridge, Mass., won the third race in 1899; and Gelindo Bordin of Vicenza, Italy, won the 94th Boston in 1990. Italian Americans can also be found in several key administrative positions. Joann Flaminio in 2011 was named as the 23rd Board of Governors president (the first woman and first person of Italian descent to hold this post). “I could not be more Italian!” she boasts. ...

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