Winning the 1906 Olympic Marathon in Greece wasn’t nearly as difficult for Hamilton’s Billy Sherring as just getting to the starting line.

He was able to travel on a cattle boat to Athens after friends helped raise money for him but he still had to take a job once he got there to support himself.

When the time came to run, however, Sherring had few equals.

Twice – in 1899 and 1903 – Sherring won the Around the Bay Road Race. In 1900 Sherring, Jack Caffery and Fred Hughson were part of Hamilton’s 1-2-3 finish at the Boston Marathon.

Sherring, who was born in Hamilton, trained at St. Patrick’s Athletic Club and later worked as a brakeman for the Grand Truck Railway.

He was one of the first inductees into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. A Hamilton park is named in his honour and a provincial plaque commemorating his achievement overlooks the bay on York Boulevard.