1908 Start - Around the Bay Road Race, Hamilton, Ontario (© Around the Bay Road Race)
Plaque name: Around the Bay Road Race
Location: 1439 Upper Ottawa St, Unit 3 Hamilton, Ontario , L8W 3J6
Plaque awarded: 03/10/2020
Reason: Plaque Category - Competition
The Around the Bay Road Race, first raced in 1894, contested over a 30km distance, holds the distinction of being the oldest long-distance race in North America.
The Hamilton Herald Newspaper and cigar store owner “Billy” Carroll, originated and sponsored the first “Around the Bay Road Race”, run on Christmas Day, 1894.
The Around the Bay Road Race established Hamilton as a running mecca for long distance runners, and it was not uncommon for thousands of spectators to line the route to watch their local favourites start the race from the front of the Herald Newspaper Offices at 17 King Street West Hamilton.
In 1979 the race officially opened to women. In 1997, the Bay race saw the closest finish ever, as Paul Mbugua of Kenya crossed the finish line in a time of 1:35:35, beating two other runners by a footstep. In 2006 the Bay Race finish was moved indoors to the 15,000 seat FirstOntario Centre. Runners, family and friends are now able to view the finish in comfort.