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| Event type

Marathon, Men

Date19 July 1900 — 14:30
StatusOlympic
LocationCroix Catelan, Bois de Boulogne, Paris
Participants14 from 4 countries
Format40,260 metres (25.01 miles) out-and-back.

The day dawned unbearably hot, with temperatures eventually reaching 39° C (102° F). Still, the event was held, and incredibly, was started at the hottest part of the day, 2:30 PM. The runners made four circuits of the 500 metre track before making out for the streets of Paris, although Johan Nyström withdrew before one lap of the stadium.

George Touquet-Daunis led the runners out of the Bois de Boulogne. Race descriptions are scanty, but he led through at least half the race, followed by Ernst Fast. When Touquet-Daunis dropped out, Fast took the lead. However, he was basically spent by that point, and Michel Théato passed him to win by a few minutes over Émile Champion, with Fast finishing almost 40 minutes back.

Théato was a baker’s assistant and knew the streets of Paris well from his deliveries. Arthur Newton later claimed that Théato and Champion must have used their knowledge of the streets to cheat as he never saw them pass him. However, this does not explain Fast’s finish, nor does it agree with race reports which have Touquet-Daunis and Fast leading the early part of the race. In the early 1990s, French athletics historian Alain Bouillé discovered that Théato was actually a Luxembourgeois national.

PosNrAthleteNOCTime
13Michel ThéatoFRA2-59:45.0Gold
22Émile ChampionFRA3-04:17.0Silver
314Ernst FastSWE3-37:14.0Bronze
46Eugène BesseFRA4-00:43.0
54Arthur NewtonUSA4-04:12.0
615Dick GrantUSA
716Ronald MacDonaldUSA
AC1Georges Daunis-TouquetFRADNF
AC13Auguste MarchaisFRADNF
AC9Billy SawardGBRDNF
AC5Ion PoolGBRDNF
AC11Frederick RandallGBRDNF
AC8Johan NyströmSWEDNF
AC10W. TaylorGBRDNF
DNS12MartensFRA
DNS19Ettore ZiliaITA
DNS17Jakub WolfHUN
DNSJohn MaguireGBR
DNS18Emilio BanfiITA
DNS7John CreganUSA
DNSAlex GrantUSA