Tricks in marathons
Published : 07/10/2017 15:11:53
Categories : All , Curiosities
There were cheats in marathons throughout history, and this is due to the human nature: in any daily situation there can be someone who believes himself smarter and who will look for ways of getting what they want, in this case winning at all costs.
The first marathon athlete who cheated was Spiridon Belokas, who unfortunately, had imitators after.
Spiridon Belokas was a 19 year-old Greek athlete who wanted to be first in the First Modern Olympics, as he ran at home, with his people. He desired the glory of being first, knowing the hard that would be, not only in ending first, but also for just ending the race, as there were not the same cares and hydratation of today. Other 16 runners competed with him to complete the almost 40 kilometers route.
Someone who did was first was Spiridon Louis, who was the first Olympic marathon champion, was acclaimed by more than 50.000 people and currently he still is a pride to the Athenians. Charilaos Vasilakos was second.
Spiridon Belokas was third in spite of running an stretch by carriage, an historic podium which lasted only a few minutes as the judges realized his trick and they disqualified him.
One of the runners, Kellner, who was Hungarian, reported that little before reaching the finish line, a carriage overtook him, which was common in that time inside the marathon route, but not the fact that on it was Spiridon Belokas, who got off a few meters before entering in the Panathinaikó Stadium. Spiridon became a dishonour and a shame to his compatriots. Even the King George I of Greece gave to Kellner a gold watch as a gift, making clear that the offense was only from Belokas. Also their partners took of the Greek shield from his shirt to show their indignation.
The most curious thing was that in 1904, eight years later, in Sant Louis (Misuri, USA) Fred Lorz did something similar, bus trying to improve it. He was the first of 32 in arriving to the finish line in Francis Field Stadium, in 3 hours and 13 minutes. But what he didn’t think of, was that a spectator realized that he had done 10 kilometers of the route by car. Having been discovered, Lorz admitted it, alleging having felt strong leg pain, and because of that asked an enthusiastic to give he a lift to see the awards ceremony, but 10 kilometers before arriving, the car broke and he decided finishing the marathon running. Too much coincidence. The thing is that he was first, and he decided not saying a word and enjoying his victory. However, the fact that the enthusiastic who gave him a lift was his own coach didn’t help to make this story believable. He was disqualified and disabled, but in 1905 he was allowed to run because of his regret, being first in the marathon in Boston. A glory that Spiridon Belokas never got.