Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The wildest race ever

The wildest race ever: the story of the 1904 Olympic marathon / Meghan McCarthy, 42 pgs.

A great book about the 1904 Olympic marathon held in St. Louis. McCarthy uses quotes from the newspaper reports of the time and shows us just how different this marathon is from contemporary sporting events.  Cars and bikes followed and lead the runners kicking up so much dust the competitors, at times, could not see.  The participants from around the world were not always well supported.  Felix Carvajal from Cuba stopped frequently along the route to eat as it was later discovered that he had spent all his money and not eaten for a couple of days before the race.  South African Len Tau lost a lot of time when he was chased by an angry dog and went off course by at least a mile.  The inside covers of the book are decorated with post cards from the era.  St. Louis at its finest, hosting the Worlds Fair and the Olympics.

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