Mad Marathon

Mad Marathon

Running a marathon is one of the most difficult athletics disciplines. The marathon runner himself must have excellent health and will in order to run these same 42 kilometers with a tail. And the health of an athlete must also be confirmed by the excellent preparation of himself for the race, including organizational issues. It was the organizational issues that were the stumbling block during the marathon run at the 3rd Olympiad, which was held in the American St. Louis in 1904.

It is now the Olympic teams of the world are sponsored by the state, have the honor and respect of fellow citizens. In those early years, no one really knew the athletes and they were left to themselves. For various reasons, about 700 athletes from Europe, which nevertheless was the Mecca of the development of sports in those years, could not come to that Olympiad in faraway America. Anyway!...

The men's marathon at the Olympics in St. Louis (there was no women then) was held on August 30, 1904. Originally scheduled for an early morning, the start was postponed to a later time.When the heat became unbearable, the air temperature rose to 33 degrees by noon. The race began and ended at the stadium, the race route itself passed through dusty American roads. And the result of the race was appropriate, it eventually turned into a show. It is worth noting that the only drinking point for athletes was equipped in almost in the middle of the race.

Only a few athletes had previously experience such races. Two athletes from South Africa were brought to the race; the Anglo-Boer War was just over and the athletes were brought in for display. They both ran barefoot, and one of them, whose name was Len Tau, came ninth. The first was the American Frederic Lorz. Running into the stadium, he fell into the hands of fans and reporters. He even managed to take a picture with the daughter of US President T. Roosevelt - Alice Roosevelt! However, the plans of the "champion" prevented vigilant citizens. Lorz is more than half the distance traveled by car, which he braked hitchhiking. He might have driven more, but the car broke down. As a result, the first place was taken from him, and Lorz himself explained his misconduct with a joke, for which he was subsequently disqualified.As a result, his award was given, awarding the first place to the American Thomas Hicks, who finished the distance with a result of 3h 28min.


joker F. Lorz.

Thomas Hicks. This athlete was still more honest than Lorz, but on his feet he did not master the distance. In the course of the race, he was in the lead, but then he fell, and could not run any further. His coaches injected him with a shot consisting of a mixture of strychnine and brandy (in small doses, of course, this is not some kind of meldonium). Under the influence of this infernal mixture, Hicks ran further, several kilometers before the finish, his coaches even had to carry him in their arms. Hicks crossed the finish line and fell, if it were not for the doctors who came in time, he would have died. Subsequently, he never participated in competitions.


pumped up by Tom Hicks’s terrible potion, trainers are dragging to the finish.

The second and third in the end were the Americans Albert Corey and Arthur Newton. But the most interesting character was the Cuban postman Felix de la Caridad (Andarin) Carvajal. Carvajal went to the games by himself. To begin with, he was robbed in New Orleans, although it is believed that Carvajal lost all his money. But this is no longer important, because he finally reached St. Louis on foot !!! He arrived at the beginning of the race at the last moment. He didn’t have a sports uniform, he cut off his pants just before the start.During the marathon itself, Karvahal, hungry as a scum, ran into a roadside garden, where he ate apples, some of which turned out to be rotten. As a result, along the way he had a stomach spasm, but despite this, he still ran to the finish line.


Andarin Carvajal, St. Louis, 1904.

But at home, in Cuba, Carvajal still became famous. He, a poor postman, was chosen to represent the country at the 1906 marathon in Athens. As a result, on arrival in Athens, he simply disappeared, he could not be found, the Cuban newspapers later even published an obituary. But Carvajal was found, he later reached the homeland on a passing ship. Such is the Olympic hero.

Well, the marathon of 1904 was not without tragedy. During the passage of the distance died American William Garcia. In his lungs, while running, dust came from a passing car with Olympic officials.

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  • Mad Marathon

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    Mad Marathon

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    Mad Marathon