Frederick Lorz

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Fred Lorz
Frederick Lorz 1904 olympics.jpg
Personal information
Full name Frederick Lorz
Born June 5, 1884
New York, New York
Died February 4, 1914(1914-02-04) (aged 29)
Country United States
Event(s) long distance runner

Frederick "Fred" Lorz (June 5, 1884 – February 4, 1914) was an American long distance runner who won the 1905 Boston Marathon.[1] Lorz is also known for his "finish" in the marathon at the 1904 Summer Olympics.


Born in New York City, Lorz was reported to have done all his training at night due to his profession as a bricklayer.[1]

An announcement in the August 6, 1904 issue of The New York Times indicated that the Metropolitan Association of the Amateur Athletic Union would hold a "special seven-mile race" at Celtic Park on August 13, 1904 with the eight top finishers receiving a paid trip to compete in the marathon at the Olympic Games in St. Louis on August 30, 1904.[2] Lorz, listed as representing the Mohawk Athletic Club, was named as one of 19 "probable competitors" in the event.[2]

In the marathon at the 1904 Olympic Games, Lorz stopped running because of exhaustion after nine miles (14.5 km). His manager gave him a lift in his car for the next eleven miles (17.7 km), after which it broke down; Lorz then continued on foot back to the Olympic stadium, where he broke the finishing line tape and was greeted as the winner of the race.

Though he initially went along with it, he soon admitted that it was a joke after spectators claimed that he had not run the entire race.[3] Thomas Hicks went on to become the real winner, though he too had an unusual race, walking part of the route and being assisted by strychnine, which has since been banned; among the 32 runners that entered, he was one of several who came near death (along with William Garcia), and he retired the next day.[4]

Lorz was banned for life by the Amateur Athletic Union, but was reinstated soon afterwards after he apologized for the stunt and it was found that he had not intended to defraud.[5] He won the Boston Marathon in 1905 with a time of 2:38:25.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A New Marathon Champion: Frederick Lorz of the Mohawk Athletic Club of New York Captured the Great Run in an Exciting Contest". Boston Evening Transcript (Boston). April 20, 1905. p. 4. Retrieved February 9, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "WILL RUN FOR ST. LOUIS TRIP. Eight Best Men in Race to Go to World's Fair for Big Event." (pdf). The New York Times (New York). August 6, 1904. Retrieved May 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ Hanc, John. Newsday, 25 August 2004. "The Worst of the Modern Olympics Was Held ... ?". Accessed 5 August 2006.
  4. ^ Miller, Mike. 30 August 2004. "Olympics flashback: 1904 marathon a joke of a race". Accessed 8 August 2006.[dead link]
  5. ^ Gettings, John. FactMonster. "Lorz of the Rings". Accessed 5 August 2006.
  6. ^ Boston Athletic Association. "Past Mens Open Champions". Accessed 25 July 2012.

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