August 30, 1904

On this date in during the 1904 Olympics held in St.Louis, Missouri, the marathon race was held in 90 degree heat on a dirt road. Racer Fred Lorz was running in fourth place when he developed severe cramps and had to drop out of the race at the nine-mile mark. He was able to hitch a ride from a passing car to take him back to the stadium, but after about 10 miles the car broke down. The short ride allowed Lorz to catch his breath and he decided to run the remaining few miles and actually crossed the finish line first. He was hailed by the spectators as the winner and he almost accepted the gold medal as the winner, but an unknown person reminded him, and everyone around him, that he had hitched a ride with a car for several miles. The Amateur Athletic Union immediately slapped him with a lifetime ban and yanked the medal out of his hands. Lorz later got the ban rescinded on the grounds that the oppressive heat during the marathon had driven him ‘temporarily insane.’

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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