The official results of the Men's Marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany held on Sunday September 10, 1972. The race started on 15.00h local time. A total number of 62 athletes completed the race, with Maurice Charlotin from Haiti finishing in 62nd and last position in 3:29:21. There were 74 competitors from 39 countries. Twelve of them did not finish.
The marathon route in the 1972 Olympics was created to resemble the mascot, Waldi. The course was arranged so that the head of the dog faced west, with athletes running counter-clockwise, starting at the back of the dog's neck and continuing around the ears. The mouth of the dog was represented by the path through the Nymphenburg Park, and its front feet were represented by the run though the Hirschgarten. The belly was the main downtown street in Munich, and its rear feet, rear end and tail were all in the English Garden, a parkland extending along the Isar River. The athletes continued along the back of the dog and entered the Olympic Stadium.
American Frank Shorter, who was born in Munich, became the first from his country in 64 years to win the Olympic marathon. As Shorter was nearing the stadium, German student Norbert Sudhaus entered the stadium wearing a track uniform, joined the race and ran the last kilometre; thinking he was the winner, the crowd began cheering him before officials realized the hoax and security escorted Sudhaus off the track. Arriving seconds later, Shorter was perplexed to see someone ahead of him and to hear the boos and catcalls meant for Sudhaus. This was the third time in Olympic history that an American had won the marathon (after Thomas Hicks 1904 and Johnny Hayes 1908) — and in none of those three instances did the winner enter the stadium first.