| Event type

Marathon, Men

Date10 September 1972 — 15:00
LocationOlympiastadion, Olympiapark, München
Participants74 from 39 countries
Format42,195 metres (26 miles, 385 yards) out-and-back.

For the first time since the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, the marathon favorite in 1972 was an American, Frank Shorter. A former track and cross-country runner at Yale, he had won the Pan-American Games marathon and the Fukuoka race in 1971, establishing him as the favorite. The race was held on the last day of the München Olympics, five days after the tragedy involving the Israeli Olympic team, which made all competitions seem meaningless. It started in the Olympic Stadium at 3 PM, and was run over an out-and-back course. Shorter won the race fairly comfortably, moving into the lead by 15 km., and was never challenged. The silver medal went to Belgium’s Karel Lismont while defending champion Mamo Wolde won the bronze medal.

Unfortunately, Shorter was not the first “runner” to enter the Olympic stadium. A West Germany student, Norbert Südhaus, decided to pull a prank and ran onto the Olympic course just outside the stadium. He ran around the track and was not pulled by officials until he neared the finish line. When Shorter entered the stadium, he saw Südhaus running on the track and did not know who he was. Shorter became the third American to win the Olympic marathon, and none of them was actually the first runner in the stadium at the end of the race. In 1904, Tom Hicks won the race, but Fred Lorz, who had dropped out, hitched a car ride, and decided to run into the stadium. In 1908, Italy’s Dorando Pietri led the race in the last half and entered the stadium first. But he was on the verge of collapse, and though officials helped him across the line, he was disqualified for illegal assistance, allowing America’s Johnny Hayes to win the gold medal.

11014Frank ShorterUSA2-12:19.8Gold
258Karel LismontBEL2-14:31.8Silver
3194Mamo WoldeETH2-15:08.4Bronze
41001Kenny MooreUSA2-15:39.8
5558Kenji KimiharaJPN2-16:27.0
6289Ron HillGBR2-16:30.6
7298Don MacgregorGBR2-16:34.4
8689Jack FosterNZL2-16:56.2
9970Jack BachelerUSA2-17:38.2
10175Lengissa BedaneETH2-18:36.8
11212Seppo NikkariFIN2-18:49.4
12569Akio UsamiJPN2-18:58.0
1328Derek ClaytonAUS2-19:49.6
14964Yury VelikorodnykhURS2-20:02.2
15924Anatolijus BaranovasURS2-20:10.4
16355Paul AngenvoorthFRG2-20:19.0
17956Richard MabuzaSWZ2-20:39.6
18193Demissie WoldeETH2-20:44.0
19214Reino PaukkonenFIN2-21:06.4
20296Colin KirkhamGBR2-21:54.8
21506Antonio BruttiITA2-22:12.0
22692Dave McKenzieNZL2-22:19.2
23485Dan McDaidIRL2-22:25.2
24527Renato MartiniITA2-22:41.4
25336Eckhard LesseGDR2-22:49.6
26647Jacinto SabinalMEX2-22:56.6
27469Gyula TóthHUN2-22:59.8
28252Fernand KolbeckFRA2-23:01.2
29126Hernán BarrenecheCOL2-23:40.0
30150Jørgen JensenDEN2-24:00.2
31403Manfred SteffnyFRG2-24:25.4
32392Lutz PhilippFRG2-24:25.4
33465Ferenc SzekeresHUN2-25:17.6
34691Terry MannersNZL2-25:29.2
35956Igor ShcherbakURS2-25:37.4
36568Yoshiaki UnetaniJPN2-25:59.0
37759Kim Chang-SonPRK2-26:45.6
38513Franco De MenegoITA2-26:52.2
39164Agustín FernándezESP2-27:14.2
40742Edward StawiarzPOL2-28:12.4
41751Armando AldegalegaPOR2-28:24.6
42486Des McGannIRL2-28:31.6
43438Carlos CuqueGUA2-28:37.0
44833Alfons SidlerSUI2-29:09.2
45645Alfredo PeñalozaMEX2-29:51.0
4665Walter Van RenterghemBEL2-29:58.4
47489Donie WalshIRL2-31:12.0
48127Álvaro MejíaCOL2-31:56.4
49760Ryu Man-HyongPRK2-32:29.4
50170Carlos PérezESP2-33:22.6
51648Rafael TadeoMEX2-35:48.4
52128Víctor MoraCOL2-37:34.6
539Fernando MolinaARG2-38:18.6
54440Julio QuevedoGUA2-40:38.6
556Ramón CabreraARG2-42:37.2
56629Matthews KambaleMAW2-45:50.0
5767Hla TheinMYA2-48:53.2
5869Ricardo CondoriBOL2-56:11.4
59916Fulgence RwabuUGA2-57:04.4
60656Bhakta Bahadur SapkotaNEP2-57:58.8
6170Crispin QuispeBOL3-07:22.8
62441Maurice CharlotinHAI3-29:21.0
DNF4Nazario AraújoARG
DNF223Pekka TiihonenFIN
DNF71Juvenal RochaBOL
DNF806Jama Awil AdenSOM
DNF62Gaston RoelantsBEL
DNF108Lucien RosaSRI
DNF864Julius WakachuTAN
DNFİsmail AkçayTUR1
DNFJit Bahadur Khatri ChhetriNEP2
DNFRodolfo GómezNCA3
DNF575Richard JumaKEN4
DNF813Shag Musa MedaniSUD5
DNS875Josef JánskýTCH
DNSHüseyin AktaşTUR