Atkinson, Herbert C.

Herbert Clarence Atkinson achieved fame across campus and the Maritime region when he won a long distance road race in 1906. He grew up in Port Elgin, New Brunswick, and attended Mount Allison University between 1903 and 1907. In his freshman year, he won the mile race in Mount Allison’s annual Field Day competition, with a time of 5:18.

In November 1906, Atkinson competed in a road race held under the auspices of the Saint John Marathon Athletic Club. It was, according to The Argosy (November 1906), “the most important long distance race that has been held in the Maritime provinces for many years.” The course was just over four miles long, and was held under poor weather conditions. Atkinson won the race with a time of 25:55, beating his closest opponent by 27 seconds. According to a report by a Saint John newspaper, The Telegraph (9 November 1906), “An immense concourse of people turned out to see the contest.”

Atkinson’s race was regarded as an extraordinary achievement by students and staff at Mount Allison. On 15 December 1906, he was presented with a sterling silver shield by his fellow classmates. At the event, another prominent athlete, George Sutton Patterson (class of 1907), declared that Atkinson had “brought more honour to Mount Allison in the athletic line than any single individual had ever done.”

Herbert Clarence Atkinson, 1906

This project was funded by the Marjorie Young Bell Endowment Fund