Jean Bouin

(December 24,1888 – September 29, 1914)

Jean Bouin was a French high level athlete; record holder of the 5 000 meters, 10 000 meters and 3 miles.

He began competition in 1904 when he was only 15 and was noticed by Arthur Gibassier, a sports reporter for the “Petit Provencal” newspaper who enrolled him in the “Phocée Club” of Marseille.

His records:

1905: he won the first race in Genoa, Italy

1906: he won the coastline championship and is 4th at the national cross in Meudon

1907: 3rd at the national cross at 15 meters of the 1st, Jacques Keyser

1909: - 1st at a famous cross in Lyon and 1st of the national cross in Amiens

         - 2nd at the International Cross on March 20th

He won the Nice-Monaco on April and had the hour record: 18km 267 m on May 30th at Colombes Stadium in Paris.

1911: he improved the record of France of 10 000 meters in 30:58 sec (championship of France) as well as the 5 000 meters: 14 min 36 sec in 1912, and also record of France.

The following year, Jean Bouin beats the world hour record in 19,021 km) on July in Stockholm, facing 30 other competitors including the Olympic champion Hannes Kolehmainen. In the same French tour, he also beats three runners relaying over 10,000 meters. This record predicted a bright future for Jean Bouin, but the Great War ended his dreams for the Olympic title.

He was incorporated as 2nd Class in the 163rd Infantry Regiment and was killed on September 29th 1914 by a German attack at the “Mont Sec”, not far from Saint Mihiel during the 1st Battle of the Marne. His body was brought back on June 27th 1922 with 39 other soldiers and he was buried in the cemetery of Saint-Pierre in Marseille (square 30 N° 81)


Joseph Guillemot

(1/10/1899 – 09/03/1975)

Joseph Guillemot, a French athlete, discovered athletics when he was in the 16th of “Hunters on Foot” Battalion in Bellac (Limousin). In 1918, he became champion of a military competition at Colombes. He returned to the front for a few months until the Armistice but was victim of a gas attack, which will cause him an atrophy of a lung. However, this did not change his mind and his will and determination to run.

During the 1920 Olympic Games in Anvers, Joseph Guillemot became the Olympic champion of 5 000 meters (14 min 55 sec). His record is incredible for he was gazed during the 1st World War and had he had his shoes stolen just before the race, and had to run with oversized shoes.

In 1922, he won the Cross of nations and held the 2 000 meters ‘world record.