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Former Boston Marathon winner Paavo Kotila dies

The IAAF is saddened to learn of the death of Finnish distance runner Paavo Kotila, who died on 26 January at the age of 86.

An immensely gutsy marathon runner, for seven years Kotila raced all over the world winning the Boston Marathon in 1960. He also finished second in Fukuoka in 1957 and 1960, Kosice 1955 and Athens 1957, and won the Nordic title in 1957.

He won a great Finnish Championships marathon, partly on dirt roads, in 1956 at Pieksamaki in 2:18:04.8, at the time the fastest ever time on an out-and-back course. Behind him, three other Finns also broke 2.20.

But in the Melbourne Olympic marathon, after leading for the first 10km, he finished 13th, the slowest of the Finnish trio.

The winner of countless 25km races on roads and tracks, sometimes on consecutive days, his 2:36:54 in Boston still stands as the Finnish M55 record.