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Olympic Games 1896 - Athens

The men's marathon event was a special race invented as part of the Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. Michel Bréal originated the idea of a race from the city of Marathon to Athens, taking inspiration from the legend of Pheidippides. The first such marathon race was a Greek national competition that served as a qualifier for the Olympic marathon; the qualifier was won by Kharilaos Vasilakos. The length of the marathon in 1896 was 40 kilometres.

Twenty-five athletes traveled to Marathon for the race from there to Athens, though only 17 actually started. Just as in the 1500 metre race, Albin Lermusiaux took the lead early. Teddy Flack and Arthur Blake maintained the second and third places until Blake dropped out at 23 kilometers. At 32 kilometers, Lermusiaux dropped out as well, leaving Flack in the lead. That lead was not secure, however, as the Greek Spiridon Louis was making full use of his endurance to gain slowly on Flack.

Exhausted from trying to maintain his pace, Flack dropped out of the race with about 4 kilometers left. Louis was left alone at the front, finishing the 40 kilometre race in slightly less than three hours. Vasilakos finished second, followed closely by Spiridon Belokas and Gyula Kellner. Belokas's third place finish (3:06:30) was voided when it was discovered that he had covered part of the course by carriage.


Results

SpiridonLouisGreece2:58:50
KharilaosVasilakosGreece3:06:03
GyulaKellnerHungary3:06:35
IoannisVrettosGreece
EleitheriosPapasimeonGreece
DimitriosDeligiannisGreece
EvangelosGerakerisGreece
StamatiosMasourisGreece
SokratisLagoudakisFrance

Did not finish

DNFTeddyFlackAustralia
DNFAlbinLermusiauxFrance
DNFIoannisLavrentisGreece
DNFGeorgiosGrigoriouGreece
DNFIliasKafetzisGreece
DNFDimitriosKhristopoulosGreece

Did not start


Disqualified

DISSpiridonBelokasGreece


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