It was because of a long distance running career by which other runners could be judged that Pat Kelly was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.
During his prime, he was the reigning king of The Evening Telegram ten-mile race, winning it nine consecutive times. He started his reign with a 1933 victory, took first in each race until 1939 when the event was suspended for the Second World War, and was first in 1945 and 1946 when the race was resumed.
A superbly conditioned athlete, he was very successful in a variety of other track and field events, especially middle-distance running as he dominated the one-mile event at various competitions as an important member of St. Bon’s teams.
His strength and technique allowed him to place well in events such as the shot-put, hammer throw, and in one mile and ten mile walking races as well as the marathon. He was simply a superb all-round track and field athlete who specialized in distance running.
Pat Kelly was a member of the Newfoundland team that entered the 1934 British Commonwealth Games in London, England and ran in the 1938 Boston Marathon. As he did in all other competitions, he demonstrated impressive talent in every aspect of both major sporting competitions.
He was an excellent cross-country skier and rowed with several winning crews in the St. John’s Regatta. But track and field was his first love and he set the pace for excellence in that sport during the 1930’s and into the 1940’s.
A farmer on the then outskirts of St. John’s, he earned a reputation for sportsmanship and co-operation in all his athletic endeavours. An outdoors person, he was involved in the establishment of the St. John’s Hiking Club.
It was for putting together a running career that dominated his era and remains remarkable today, Pat Kelly was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Hall of Fame.
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