John Hayes (marathon runner)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Johnny Hayes, 1908
John Hayes at the 1908 Olympic Games

John Joseph "Johnny" Hayes (born April 10, 1886 in Nenagh , County Tipperary , Ireland , † August 25, 1965 in Englewood , New Jersey ) was an Irish- American athlete and winner of the marathon at the 1908 Olympic Games in London .


Hayes' parents were from Nenagh in County Tipperary, Ireland. He began his track and field career in 1906 with a fifth place in the Boston Marathon . The following year he finished third in Boston and won the Yonkers Marathon . In 1908 he ran in Boston to second place and qualified for the Olympic Games in London.

The Olympic marathon race, the first over the current distance of 42.195 km, went down in history. The Italian Dorando Pietri was the first to reach the White City Stadium . But Pietri initially made a wrong turn, collapsed, was helped to his feet by the doctors, fell over three more times and was finally dragged across the finish line by the referees, completely exhausted. The audience, captivated by the drama, hardly noticed that Pietri was declared the winner just as Hayes arrived at the stadium. After the American delegation protested, Pietri was disqualified and Hayes was declared the winner. Like the other two American Olympic marathon champions, Hayes was not the first runner to enter the stadium and won. Pietri, however, was considered a moral winner and received a special gold cup from Queen Alexandra at the award ceremony .

The public interest was so great that in November 1908 a duel between Pietri and Hayes was organized in Madison Square Garden . Pietri won by around 70 meters. In a second race in March 1909, Pietri won again. Hayes coached the US track and field team at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and later worked as a physical education teacher.

Web links