Arvi “MR. MARATHON” Tokkola



When Finns won in Boston, Arvi was the man behind the scenes. He moved to the US in 1927 and was extremely active in all things sport-related. He was the founder of the “National Finnish American Marathon Committee” and helped secure a place for Finns to compete in every Boston Marathon.


Arvi fondly remembers the early days of Finnish running in the US: “Back then we tried to raise money through our committee in every way possible – from arranging events to writing grant applications to society donations. But at the end of the day, I still paid for the flight tickets out of my own pocket. The price was $4,000 per athlete to fly over, but it was definitely worth every penny!”