Tom Fleming was one of the toughest marathoners of any era. In a time when marathons were won by guys in their late 20s, early to mid thirties, Tom Fleming was a marathoner at 19. Having won the New York City marathon in 1973 ad 1975, Tom’s best races were some of his battles against Bill Rodgers in Boston.
Running 140 miles a week and giving no quarter, Tom Fleming had a wonderful sense of humor and his love of the sport was passed onto his children and the athletes he coached as well.
Taken too early from us, Tom Fleming was a tremendous force in the sport, and had many passions. I remember interviewing Tom in 2014 at the RRCA Hall of Fame dinner about why cross country should be part of the Olympics. Tom Fleming was totally into it.
I did not know what to say to his daughter, Margot, who I have met a few time with Tom Fleming. It is obvious that she loves and misses her father, and her words on the stage were heartfelt. Margot was right, she told Tom’s athletes that Tom Fleming continued to live through them, in their running, in their living and in their breathing.
Close your eyes, you can see Tom Fleming breaking the tape at the 1975 New York City Marathon.