More than a century ago an Olympic marathon was far worse than the running marathon millions of people take part in these days. In 1904 the participants had to run thought mud, dirty, dust and extremely scorching heat. They didn’t have cemented roads, portable ventilators or years of practice and modern medicine.
However, that didn’t stop people all around the world from participating in the marathons. Not only did they run in extremely harsh conditions, but they also cheated very creatively. For example, the first finisher of the 1904 marathon was Frederick Lorz and he actually rode around 19 miles in a car during the race. His vehicle broke and he had to continue running, though. The second finisher, Thomas Hicks, nearly died from all the whiskey and the rat poison he had taken in order to stimulate his nervous system and win the race. Felix Carbajal, who finished fourth, actually took a nap during the marathon!
And when you come to think of it, today’s marathon runners actually run these things just for the kicks of doing so!