You know what the Olympic Marathon event is missing? Cars. Cars would really add that extra oomph to the event. This glaring omission hasn't always been the case, though: in 1904, a runner named Fred Lorz used one to ride about 11 miles of the marathon.
Yep, about a century ago the Olympics was a lot more badass. But maybe not in a good way if you're one of those "sportsmanship" sticklers.
See, Lorz, the guy who finished the marathon first, had a race that went something like this: he ran nine miles, realized, damn, this blows, and stopped, from exhaustion. Then, his manager, who must have been following in his car, yelling "COME ON! RUN! GET UP, DAMMIT!" gave him a lift for the next eleven miles. Then, the car broke down, keeping up the pattern for the race Lorz had set. Lorz then must have figured what the hell, and finished the remaining five miles on foot, finally breaking through the finish line with a time of 3 hours and 13 minutes even.
He was treated as the winner of the race, which he happily went along with, until a number of spectators helpfully reminded him that he, um, rode in a fucking car. Then he bravely told the assembled crowd and officials that he was only joking, see? Ha ha ha ha, get it? I cheated! It's funny because I cheated. (gives noogie to official) This guy, right! How about this guy? What a nut!
So, okay, Lorz is disqualified, and, for good measure, was banned for life by the Amateur Athletic Union. Later he apologized, and they let him back in, because who could stay mad at that face?
The guy who came up to the finish line about 15 minutes later, Thomas Hicks, made a nice dramatic finish by collapsing and almost dying right when he crossed the line. This was only partially due to having run a marathon; it was also a likely result of the two doses of strychnine he was given. Strychnine, better known by its scientific name, rat freaking poison, was often used in that era for bursts of energy.