The Disastrous 1904 Olympic Marathon: Dehydration, Dust, and Wild Dogs

TLDR The 1904 Olympic Marathon in St. Louis was plagued by extreme heat, limited access to water, and challenging conditions, leading to only 14 out of 32 runners finishing the race. Despite taking a nap, running off course, and being given a concoction of rat poison and brandy, Thomas Hicks emerged as the winner.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The 1904 Olympic Marathon was a disaster that almost killed competitors and almost removed the marathon as a competitive event.
02:05 The 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis were held during the World's Fair, had limited international participation, and were dominated by the United States.
03:32 The 1904 Olympic Marathon was one of the hottest races in history, with temperatures reaching 135 degrees Fahrenheit and high humidity, causing one runner to drop out due to dust-coated esophagus and purposeful dehydration was also being tested.
05:10 Competitors in the 1904 Olympic Marathon had limited access to water and faced extreme heat and dust, while one participant, Felix Karavalhal, arrived unqualified and ill-prepared, having lost all his money and not eaten for 40 hours prior to the race.
06:38 Despite taking a nap in the middle of the race and running off course due to being chased by wild dogs, Felix Karavalhal finished fourth in the 1904 Olympic Marathon, while two members of the Toswana tribe from South Africa became the first African competitors in Olympic history, finishing in ninth and twelfth place, and the "winner" of the race, Fred Lors, gave up after nine miles and was driven in a car for the next eleven miles before re-entering the stadium on foot to receive the gold medal.
08:15 The actual winner of the 1904 Olympic Marathon, Thomas Hicks, won the race with the worst time ever for an Olympic Marathon winner, despite being given a concoction of rat poison and brandy by his trainers.
09:49 Despite being barely able to walk and needing assistance to cross the finish line, Thomas Hicks won the 1904 Olympic Marathon, with only 14 out of 32 runners actually finishing the race.
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