Jock Semple's View of John
As Jock Semple wrote in his book,
Just Call Me Jock :
"It was a long road from
our marathons in the 1930's to Shorter's Olympic win in 1972,
but I look at Johnny's 1957 Boston run as the pivotal event for
the American marathon. I see 1957 as the halfway point;
Johnny took a stone and placed it down, so that Shorter and Rodgers
could spring off it. I'm happy to have held the blanket.
Young John should be given more
credit for creating the line of college runners in America that
starts with himself and goes right up through Buddy Edelen to
Amby Burfoot, Kenny Moore, Frank Shorter,
Bill Rodgers, Craig Virgin and all
the rest yet to come. Before Johnny there was none of
that. There were only us 'plodders'."
In the Melbourne Games of 1956, John
led the marathon for the first 12 miles. Suffering in the 85
degree heat, he finished 21st in 2:43:40.
In Rome, at the Olympic Games of
1960, John finished the marathon in 2:24:58, first American.