The Olympics is just around the corner and I’m sure we’re looking forward to events such as “baton the monk” and the “100 yards human rights suppression dash”. The cheeky Chinks have pulled out all the stops to convince us that a handful of old blokes can bring terror to the most populous nation in the world.
Full marks too to the British runners and jumpers who ably demonstrate what makes Britain shit by failing the boycott the games – after all, what’s 90+ deaths when you might get to win a medal for running 100 yards (tip: get a car you pointless plebs)
What we really need is to look back in time to when the Olympics meant something, when the spirit of competition was proud, when men were real men and when being able to run quickly and throw things a long way might have meant something. In short, NOT the 1904 Olympic marathon event …
The marathon was the most bizarre event of the Games. It was run in brutally hot weather, over dusty roads, with horses and automobiles clearing the way and creating dust clouds.
- The first to arrive was Frederick Lorz, who actually was just trotting back to the finish line to retrieve his clothes, after dropping out after nine miles. Officials thought he’d won and awarded him a medal until they realised he’d travelled most of the distance by car ..
- Thomas Hicks (a Briton running for the United States) was the first to cross the finish-line legally, after having received several doses of strychnine mixed with brandy. He was crowned the official winner of the event.
- Cuban postman Felix Carbajal joined the marathon but had to run in street clothes that he cut around the legs to make them look like shorts as he didn’t have any proper gear. He stopped off in an orchard mid way round to snack on apples but it turned out the apples were rotten so he had to have a sleep until the effects of the dodgy fruit wore off – he still managed 4th place..
- The marathon included the first two black Africans to compete in the Olympics. One finished ninth, the other 12th. The 12th placed man would probably have done better if he had not been chased nearly a mile off course by aggressive dogs.
All in all then, the 1904 Olympic Marathon was a huge success, let’s see what the Chinks can pull off this summer!