Page 41 - Summer2016Gazette
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Feature  39

        the stadium, he turned in   protested and this was upheld   this professional race. The
        the wrong direction to the   with the gold medal going to   first was Pietri, The other
        finish line and when umpires   Hayes. However as a mark of   competitor in the 1909 race
        redirected him, he fell down   recognition for having been   at the Royal Albert Hall
        for the first time.     the would be winner, Queen
        He got up with their help, in   Alexandria subsequently
        front of 75,000 spectators.   presented Pietri with a special
        He was by now seriously   gilded Cup.
        dehydrated and took 10   Turning professional
        minutes to finish the last 350
        meters before being helped   Following these games Pietri
        over the line by two officials   raced as a professional for
        in first place.         three years. His first income
                                came from a collection
        Conan-Doyle continued…   proposed by the Daily Mail
        He has gone to the extreme   and organized in 1908 by
        of human endurance. No   Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle
        Roman of the prime ever bore   which raised the equivalent
        himself better than Dorando   of £28,248 today to help
        of the Olympics of 1908. The   Pietri set up in business   Gardiner and Pietri line up at the start
        great breed is not yet extinct.                    as a baker. Pietri suddenly   of  the race.
        The runner-up was the   became an international   was C W Gardiner from
        American Johnny Hayes, less   celebrity. Composer Irving   London who won the race
        than a minute behind Pietri   Berlin dedicated a song to   in 2 hours 37 minutes. Pietri
        who had crossed the line   him entitled “Dorando” and   did not finish, dropping out
        in 2.54.46. The Americans   he embarked on a tour of   in his 24th mile. He had
                                exhibition races in the United   problems, having run in
                                States, in a busy program of   new shoes a mistake many
                                22 races of which he won   people still make competing
                                17, including a race between   in marathons today! The lap
                                Hayes and himself on    was boarded, with the boards
                                25 November 1908, in    covered in coconut matting.
                                Madison Square Garden,   There were doubts expressed
                                New York. Pietri won the race   and many believed the
                                as well as a second similar   course was short. In fact the
                                race on 15 March 1909.  marathon distance had not
                                                        properly been standardized
                                A two horse race        and would not be so until
                                Another such event was a   1924, although the course for
                                Marathon race that December   the recent Olympic Marathon
                                1909 at the Royal Albert Hall.   had effectively set the
        Loss of  the gold medal was compensated   There were just two runners   distance of the marathon at
        by the award of  a special gilded cup.  at the Royal Albert Hall in   26 miles, 385 yards.
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