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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

JEROME DRAYTON

Inducted in 1978

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 10, 1945
Place of Birth: Kolbermoore, Germany
Sport: Athletics
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1970

World record of 46:37.6 in 10-mile race

1975

World record of 13:06.0 in 3-mile race

1977

First place, Boston Marathon

Norton Crowe Trophy - Canadian male amateur athlete of the year 

1999

Named Canada's Top Male Marathon Runner of All-time

2005

Named Canada's Top Male Distance Runner of All-time

Honoured Member JEROME DRAYTON
Inspire

Story

The marathon is one of the most grueling sporting events. In these demanding, long-distance races, where simply finishing can be equated with victory, Jerome Drayton dominated throughout the 1970s. Drayton, born Peter Buniak, spent a tumultuous childhood in post-Second World War Germany. After immigrating to Canada in 1956, he changed his name and forged a new identity as a Canadian and a champion. Drayton first caught the attention of the international long-distance running world when he won the Motor City Marathon in Detroit in 1969, setting a new North American record in the process. Later that year, he was invited to compete in the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon in Japan, the unofficial world championship for marathoners. Amidst the best runners in the world, Drayton took the lead and set another North American record with his gallant victory. In 1970, Drayton set a world record of 46:37.6 in the 10-mile track race. Over the next five years, however, he was beset by injuries, financial problems, and a number of disappointing finishes, but he was back in full form by 1975. That year, he set another world record of 13:06.0 in the 3-mile indoor race and claimed the Fukuoka Marathon title once more. Despite a disappointing 6th place finish at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, Drayton proved his world-class status when he beat gold medalist Waldemar Cierpinski at the Fukuoka Marathon later that year. In 1977, Drayton was the first Canadian in 29 years to win the Boston Marathon, and the following year, he claimed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Over the course of his brilliant career, Drayton held 12 national titles and set 13 records a various distances. His Canadian Marathon record time of 2:10.09 has stood since 1975. For his outstanding achievements, Drayton has received numerous honours, including the Norton Crowe Trophy as Canada's Male Amateur Athlete of the Year in 1977. In 1999, he was named Canada's Top Male Marathon Runner of All-time and in 2005 he was dubbed Canada's Top Male Distance Runner of All-time. After retiring, Drayton remained involved in the athletic world as a consultant with the Sports and Fitness Division of Ontario's Ministry of Youth, Culture and Recreation.


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