AP WAS THERE: 1904 St. Louis Olympics

Sports

This image provided by the Library of Congress, shows Thomas Hicks competing in the marathon at the 1904 Olympic games in St. Louis. The marathon may be the single most memorable event from the 1904 Games. The race took place in 90-degree heat on dusty roads with only a single water break, and 18 of the 32 athletes withdrew from exhaustion. . (Library of Congress, Meeting of Frontiers via AP)

EDITOR’S NOTE — With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. This story was transmitted from the 1904 Olympics on the day of the marathon. The story is reprinted here as it ran in The San Bernardino County (California) Sun on Aug. 31, 1904, using the contemporary style, terminology and including any published errors. Note that Fred Lorz, who would later win the 1905 Boston Marathon, is identified in this report as Fred Lorg.

By The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 30 — The Olympic Marathon race, the third footrace contest of the kind since the revival of the Olympic games of ancient Greed, and the first of the kind ever held on American soil, participated in by 31 men, comprising some of the fleetest runners in the world, was won today by Thomas J. Hicks, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the only American who ever won in a classic race. Albert J. Corey of Chicago, a native born Frenchman, was second; A.L. Newton, of New York, was third.

The distance of the race was 40 kilometers, or 24 miles and 1,500 yards.

Hicks’ times was three hours, 28 minutes and 53 seconds; Corey, three hours, 34 minutes and 15 seconds; Newton, three hours, 47 minutes and 33 seconds.

Fred Lorg of New York crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified for having ridden three miles in an automobile.

Sixteen of the starters were Americans, 19 Greeks, two Kaffirs, one Cuban, one Frenchman, and one South African.

The course was five times around the stadium track, then out through the gate onto the country roads, the course being designated by red flags stuck along the way. The route led over hills and through dales and is pronounced one of the most up and down hill courses ever traveled by athletes. The roads were deep in dust.

Crowds of spectators gathered at different points and cheer the runners. A vanguard of horsemen cleared the thoroughfares and the appointed judges, physicians and newspapermen followed in automobiles.

Samuel Mellor was first at the halfway point, Newton second, Hicks third, and running easily. Hicks was following Lorg at 20 miles, the latter having resumed running after riding several miles. Hicks was tired but game. He slowed to a walk at the last hill, then renewed the pace and ran into the stadium amid the cheers of thousands and crossed the line a winner.

Shortly afterward came Corey and Newton, in the order named. The others straggled in long after nightfall.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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