The Great Olympic Marathon debacle

The Great Olympic Marathon debacle.

On August 30, 1904, the Olympic Marathon debacle unfolds. Thirty-two runners from four nations took off from the starting line at Washington University, but only 14 finished. The first to cross the finish line was Fred Lorz, but it was discovered that he had stopped running at mile nine, hitched a ride back for about ten miles, and then run to the stadium. The true winner was Thomas Hicks, who had been given strychnine to keep him going.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo—Marathon race led by Samuel Mellor during the 1904 Summer Olympics.