Search

MARATHON CRAZE

Nov. 01, 1954
Nov. 01, 1954

Table of Contents
Nov. 1, 1954

Health
  • Playground equipment with built-in disappointments is designed to help in preparing youngsters for "the struggles of maturity"

Pat On The Back
  • Herewith a salute from the editors to men and women of all ages who have fairly earned the good opinion of the world of sport, regardless of whether they have yet earned its tallest headlines

Budd Schulberg
Souped-Up
The Wonderful World Of Sport
Soundtrack
Iron Curtain Race
Cinderella Horse
Sport In Art
Nasrullah And Mr. Fitz
You Should Know
Motor Sports
Sporting Look
Tennis
Acknowledgments
Horse Racing
Fisherman's Calendar
Under 21
Bowling
Yesterday
  • Marathoners Hayes and Dorando of the 1908 Olympics turned pro, ran a series of races and started a fad

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

MARATHON CRAZE

Marathoners Hayes and Dorando of the 1908 Olympics turned pro, ran a series of races and started a fad

The most spectacular scene in Olympic Games history took place in London, 1908, when the Italian, Dorando, leading the marathon with a lap of the stadium track to go, collapsed before 70,000 astonished people. For nearly three hours the runners had struggled over the 26-mile, 385-yard course from Windsor Castle to the stadium. Thousands of spectators lining the entire course since dawn had seen the field dwindle from 75 to 27 and the lead change hands several times, finally to be gained by Dorando, almost within sight of the stadium.

This is an article from the Nov. 1, 1954 issue Original Layout

It was Dorando who first came into view. A half minute behind trotted Johnny Hayes, 20-year-old American, who was not yet in sight as the Italian, to the horror of the crowd, staggered in the wrong direction, then fell on his face. Frantic officials rushed to him, put him on his feet and dragged him, half unconscious, across the finish line. Hayes breezed home, the official winner because of Dorando's automatic disqualification. Later the Italian was consoled by receiving a special gold trophy, awarded by Queen Alexandra.

This did not settle the question, however, that track fans wanted answered: Who was the better man? The runners were persuaded to turn pro and run for a share of the gate in New York's Madison Square Garden where, on Nov. 25, 1908, they met over the marathon distance before a packed house of Italian and Irish-American partisans. Hayes dogged the little Italian all the way, was never more than a few steps behind but could not pass him, losing by a scant 60 yards.

Hayes supporters, still unconvinced, insisted on another chance. The third meeting was staged in the Garden (March 15, 1909) and Dorando lapped the weary Hayes five times.

The Hayes-Dorando rivalry started a marathon craze in America which reached its peak on April 3, 1909, when a picked field of the world's foremost distance men met at the Polo Grounds, N.Y., in the $10,000 Marathon Derby. In this race, viewed by 30,000 people, Dorando finished second but again showed his heels to Johnny Hayes who was, as usual, right behind him.

PHOTOSECOND MEETING between the 1908 Olympic marathon runners, Johnny Hayes (above, right) and the moustached Italian, Dorando, was a professional race, held in Madison Square Garden, N.Y. Here, Tammany leader Richard Croker stands between the runners, about to start the race.PHOTO$10,000 MARATHON DERBY, held at the Polo Grounds, N.Y. April 3, 1909, lured world's top marathoners. Above, at the start: Shrubb, of England (left), Dorando, Henri St. Yves of France, the winner of the $5,000 first prize, and the Americans Longboat, Hayes, Maloney.PHOTODRAMATIC FINISH in the 1908 London Olympic Games caused an uproar when the Italian Dorando collapsed as he entered the stadium, was picked up and half carried across the finish line (above) by unthinking officials.