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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member Stories

Honoured Member

EDOUARD FABRE

Inducted in 1964

Member Details

Date of Birth: August 21, 1885
Place of Birth: Ste. Geneviéve Quebec, Quebec
Date of Passing: July 1, 1939
Sport: Athletics
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1906
Competed in Athens Marathon
1912
Stockholm Olympic Games - Competed
1915
Won Boston Marathon on 5th try
Won Panama Exposition Marathon in San Francisco
1927
In Boston, led North Branch YMCA team of Montreal to victory
1930

Won Usher's Green Strip Snowshoe Marathon

Honoured Member EDOUARD FABRE
Inspire

Story

He was one of Canada's most decorated and versatile marathon runners, competing in everything from road races to cross-country races, team, track, and snowshoe events. He even competed in a 24-hour race against a horse to determine who could run further; Fabre, of course, was the victor. In 30 years of competition, he competed in over 315 races ranging from two to 200 miles, and won hundreds of medals and trophies. Before Fabre discovered the marathon, however, he was doing running of a different kind: running away. Parentless since the age of eight, Fabre escaped from an orphanage and wandered the Montreal area until he found himself on Caughnawaga Indian territory. The young boy was taken in and raised on the reserve, where running was a popular sport. Fabre quickly caught on, and was soon winning races across the country. Fabre was a regular competitor and a consistent winner at annual road races sponsored by Montreal newspapers. Among his many international appearances, Fabre competed in the 1906 marathon in Athens as well as the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm. He entered his first Boston Marathon in 1911 and competed every year until he claimed first place in 1915. This victory was exceptionally impressive because the 28-year-old Fabre was well above the age of the average competitor. Just as he was not fazed by the heat, Fabre did not let the harsh Canadian winters stop him from entering into competition. In 1930, he was the victor of an epic 200-mile, six-day snowshoe marathon. Fabre finished this race, which started in Quebec City and finished Montreal, in 34 hours, 18 minutes and 45 seconds, over three hours ahead of the second place finisher. At 44 years of age, Fabre proved himself to be the true "French-Canadian Iron Man." In later years, Fabre worked as a construction worker and an accountant, but still found time to compete in races and train with young marathon runners. Only a debilitating stroke put an end to the career of the man who was hailed as the greatest runner of his day. He died of a second stroke in 1939.

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