Marathon trivia


Can anyone tell me how long Dorando Pietri took to complete the marathon in the 1908 Olympics?

I know it a bizarre question - I'm writing an article comparing Pietri's effort to that of modern-day runners and can't find out his time despite scouring the depths of the Internet.

It's probably because the poor fellow was disqualified after collapsing five times and being helped by officials on his way to the line. Or maybe they didn't / couldn't record the times in those days.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated.




  • Translating a web page using Google translator came up with this: "Italian Pietri Dorando finished first into 2. 54 mn 46 dryness 4, but was disqualified". Comparison with the other translated entries implies 2hr 54 min 46.4 seconds....

    Does this sound about right?
  • Trickle, you're a star! That sounds about right to me.

    As a thank you, here is another bit of trivia I've discovered while planning the article - in 1904, Thomas Hicks was disqualified from the marathon after it was discovered that he had been sustained over the last few miles with eggs, brandy and doses of strychnine. Gives me an idea if I get through the London marathon ballot!

    Thanks again,

  • No problem - good luck with the article and the ballot (and the brandy!)

  • I did a search and I could only find the Americans time of 2hrs 55 min 18 sec. I found a German article which gave Dormandos time as 9hrs 54 mins, I assume this is a misprint and should read 2 hours. No wonder he collasped otherwise.
  • Daisy - yeah, I found that German site as well, and was left a bit bemused - even I could beat that! Cheers for looking.
  • I spent a while reading about the flag fiasco, and then there was an interesting site about famous failures incl the Jim Peters who also fell over at the end of the marathon.
    So by the time I came back you had got it sorted.
    I would be interested to read the article when you have done it.
    Good Luck
  • Arnie.
    there is a good book called "marathon kings"dont no if still in print lots information about DORANDO and John Haynes the runner who took first place .In Nov 1908 they both raced for £1000 in New york over 260 laps of a wooden track Dorando won by 75 yards,Professional long distance runners seem to earn a large amout of dollors doing these races.
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