Friday, March 11, 2016
BBC Sporting Witness...Dorando Pietri - Hero of the 1908 Olympic Marathon
The Olympic Marathon first began in 1896 and the race distance varied from 40 km to 42 kilometres (25-26 miles) based upon the distance between two points that the organisers felt were suitable. The 1908 London Olympics marked the introduction of the now standard distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (42.195 km). This would later become the standard distance after the 1924 Paris Olympics.
The 1908 London Marathon was also famous for the finish of the Italian sweet maker Dornado Pietri.
If you've run a marathon then you've run that extra 385 yards at the end thanks to the changes made for that 1908 marathon.
The BBC World Service had a podcast recently about it recently in their Sporting Witness programme (9 mins in length)...Dorando Pietri - Hero of the 1908 Olympic Marathon
Place Athlete Time
1 Johnny Hayes (USA) 2:55:18.4
2 Charles Hefferon (RSA) 2:56:06.0
3 Joseph Forshaw (USA) 2:57:10.4
Dorando Pietri (disqualified)...2:54:46