Friday, August 22, 2008

Marathon Runner

The following word picture of the great Marathon Race is taken from a London newspaper which arrived by last week's mail steamer:
Seventy thousand people in the stadium at Shepherd's Bush on Friday awaited the arrival of the first man in the Marathon race, prepared to make the place re-echo with their cheers, but their applause had a lot of heartiness taken out of it by the pitiful picture presented by the first arrival, Dorando, of Italy.
When he entered the Stadium he seemed scarcely concious of his surroundings, and instructions as to the direction in which he was to run had to be shouted at him. With ashen face he tottered on towards the goal he had come so far to reach. A few shuffling steps, and he collapsed on the track. The crowd gathered round and he was apparently helped to his feet. Again he struggled on, only to fall again when about 150 yards from the winning post. Just at this moment Hayes, of America, entered the arena. Exhausted and leg-weary as he was, he was yet fresher than the Italian, whose friends realised that their compatriot might after all be beaten. They shouted encouraging cries to Dorando and urged him to a last effort. They even assisted him to his feet, and the worn-out athlete, oblivious of the national flags that were waved in front of him, oblivious of everything but the winning post a few short yards away, blindly blundered on and fell on the tape about 80 yards in front of Hayes, whose friends had rendered him slight assistance as he came on to the track.
This was noticed by Hefferon, of South Africa, who was not far behind, and ultimately finished third, and when Hates lodged a protest against Dorando, Hefferon followed with one against both. Hayes protest was allowed and the plucky Italian had the mortification of knowing that all his gallant effort had gone for nothing. The official placing was J J Hayes, USA, 1; C Hefferon, South Africa, 2; J Forshaw, USA, 3.
Eastern Province Herald August 17, 1908.

This incident was during the 1908 Olympics Games held in London. We was cheated! South Africa should have come first. Double standards reign supreme. I wonder who will win this year's Olympic men's marathon race on Sunday.
A Milan telegram reports that Dorando, the hero of the Marathon Race, was cycling to-day to Iron Water Baths when he narrowly escaped being smashed into by a motor car. In the midst of ther dust and confusion Dorando was overbalanced and fractured his right leg.
Eastern Province Herald - August 31, 1908.
Shame, poor guy.

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