Tonday Mawwaka was a legendary Nigerian marathon runner and former Olympic champion.
Nicknamed "The Proud Lion," Tonday ran in races throughout his life. Arguably his most famous "lap" was in Los Angeles in 1973. Adrian Monk, among the spectators, called it "the most amazing finish ever," when Tonday somehow, after an exhausting 26-kilometer run, closed a 400-yard distance between himself and the lead runner in just a few seconds, to win the race. Later, Tonday would laugh and say, "I still don't know how I did it."
Monk, himself a track and field runner in high school, idolized Tonday, and was thrilled when Tonday came to San Francisco to run in the annual Chronicle Marathon.
Unbeknownst to Tonday, furniture magnate Trevor McDowell used Tonday in his scheme to murder his mistress, Gwen Zaleski. Because a TV news crew was following Tonday on a motorbike, McDowell attached his personal transponder chip to the bike, to make it seem like he ran in the race, when in fact he was across town, pitching Gwen's body from the balcony of her apartment.
Checking out McDowell's alibi, Monk noticed that McDowell's chip finished within a few seconds of Tonday, prompting Monk to question him about what he'd seen. Sharona Fleming theorized that Tonday may have been McDowell's accomplice, but Monk flatly refused to believe it. In their interview, Tonday admitted that he had not noticed anything unusual, and could not help them, but formed an instant bond with Monk, and gave him a pair of running shoes as a present.
Later, when Monk solved the case and McDowell was arrested, he and Sharona chauffeured Tonday to the airport. As a farewell gift, Tonday gave Monk some parting words of encouragement, and the headband he wore for his famous Los Angeles victory as a keepsake.