Following an extraordinary debut—17th place in the 1911 Boston Marathon—Penobscot Indian Andrew Sockalexis returned to run a spectacular Boston Marathon on a muddy, rainy course on April 19, 1912. Only twenty years old, running just his third marathon ever, he came in second and narrowly missed breaking the record time for that course.
The greatest number of Native Americans ever to represent the United States occurred when Andrew Sockalexis joined Louis Tewanima and the legendary Jim Thorpe at the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. As the American favorite to win the marathon, Sockalexis finished a gallant fourth on a brutally hot day that saw half the participants drop out and one runner die of heat stroke.
Ed Rice chronicles the tragically short life of Sockalexis—he died at the age of twenty-seven from tuberculosis—focusing on his running and the races that earned him recognition from the sports community and made him revered at home.
Ed Rice grew up in Bangor, Maine, and has been an arts critic for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Maine Times, and Maine Public Broadcasting System’s “Maine Things Considered.” He has taught journalism and communication studies at several colleges, as well as taught high school English and coached cross country. An avid long distance runner who has completed 27 marathons (including eight Boston Marathons), Rice created Bangor’s popular Terry Fox 5-k in 1982 and directed the charity event for over twenty years. In 1997 he ran across the state of Massachusetts (162 miles in seven days) in support of a research fund to help end ALS. Rice is the author Baseball's First Indian and Robin Emery. He also edited If They Could Only Hear Me, a collection of personal essays about the fight against ALS. He lives with his wife, Susan, in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada.