The Runner is an enormous sculpture of an athlete that was created by the Honorable Alvin Tolman Marriott, a Jamaican sculturer who is considered by many to be a national human treasure. It is installed directly in front of the National Stadium and weighs over 7000 lbs.
The statue was inspired by Arthur Wint, winner of Jamaica’s first Gold Medal in 1948, and the three athletes, Herb McKenley, George Rhoden, and Les Laing, who returned with him to capture the Olympic gold medal in the Helsinki 1952 4×400 relay.
The statue, which is made of Aluminum, was unveiled by HRH Princess Margaret and was featured on a 1964 Jamaican 1c postage stamp which shows the national stadium and the statue of runner.
Alvin Marriott retired in Florida where he died of Parkinsons at the age of 90. His daughter’s one regret is that he was not properly compensated for his work. He was one of the first Jamaicans that showed the Jamaican people they can dream big dreams.
“He came before me and he was a giant”
In the 1990’s, Marriott’s personal portfolio was sent to Jamaica to serve as a reference for the writing of a book, however the portfolio was lost and so there is no single, complete account of his life and career.