Please cite this article as:

Harris, L. Jack Price and the 1908 Olympic Marathon, In Day, D. (ed), Playing Pasts (Manchester: MMU Sport and Leisure History, 2020), 72-88.

ISBN paperback 978-1-910029-56-5


Chapter 5



Jack Price and the 1908 Olympic Marathon

Luke Harris




The 1908 Olympic Marathon is one of the most written about events in Modern Olympic History, with the main protagonists being the feature of many articles and chapters. Almost absent from this extensive histography is a detailed explanation about the performance of the eleven British athletes that began the race. This chapter’s intention is to begin to undercover the story of one of the British athletes, Jack Price, a resident of Halesowen, Worcestershire and a representative of Small Heath Harriers from Birmingham. Like so many of the British team, Price was selected following his performance in one of the Olympic Trial Races run in the Spring of 1908. This race will be analysed, as will his preparations for the Olympic Marathon, which demonstrate the slightly haphazard organisation behind Britain’s athletic organization for the 1908 Olympics. A range of sources will be examined to explain the reasons why not only Jack Price but all of the British athletes failed in this pivotal Olympic event.

Keywords: Olympic Games, Marathon, Athletics, Jack Price, Birmingham.


The 1908 Olympic Marathon remains perhaps the most infamous race in Olympic History. The victory and subsequent disqualification of the Italian athlete Dorando Pietri created an excitement and legacy that propelled this relatively new event to the forefront of athletics. Pietri’s disqualification and the awarding of the race to the Irish-American Johnny Hayes following a gruelling battle on the streets of North and West London is a well-told story.[1] Comparatively, there is little written about the fate of any of the twelve athletes who represented Britain in this race. These men, at least in the eyes of the British press, were amongst the favourites for the race, although none of them featured in the final reckoning owing to a combination of injury, the heat and perhaps most significantly; inexperience. This chapter will begin to explore this relatively unknown tale via the examination of one of the British athletes; Jack Price, who represented the Birmingham athletic club Small Heath Harriers, and was one of Britain’s leading hopes following his victory in the Midlands Marathon Trial of May 1908.


John (Jack) Price was born in Neen Savage, Shropshire on 18 February 1884. It was in this rural setting that he remained until the age of 16, when after he had grown tired of tending sheep and cattle on a farm he ‘set out to seek a new world’, and after a day’s walking he arrived at the town of Halesowen, located in the area affectionately known as the ‘Black Country’, on a ‘hot, dusty, July evening’[2] in 1901. Price soon found himself a job with local steel makers, Stewarts and Lloyds, and remained in the town for the rest of his life.

It was not for another three years, by which time Price was ‘married and blessed with a bonnie daughter’,[3] that his athletic career began. This came during a walking race between Halesowen and Kidderminster, in which he only competed following an invitation from a friend. After an unremarkable start, he found himself ninth at the halfway stage, five minutes behind the leaders. In the second half of the race, Price’s position improved and a strong finish ensured that he finished second and ‘a few yards behind a man named Walters’.[4] This is the first evidence of the strong finish which was to become his trademark, and was good enough for Price to win the race, allowing for his handicap of five minutes.

This initial success encouraged Price to compete in a range of athletic contests over the following year. Race walking remained at the forefront of his activities. He also ventured into running, competing in mile races during the summer and cross-country running, the staple of the athletics in the West Midlands, in the winter. Price quickly developed a particular passion for cross-country, aided by the Client Hills which lay to the South-West of his adopted home and provided an excellent training ground. In order to compete in more cross-country events, he joined the Cradley Heath branch of the Birmingham-based athletics club Small Heath Harriers in late 1905.[5]

From this point onwards, Price established himself as an excellent cross-country runner, and in the spring of 1906, he competed in the English National Championships at Haydock Park for the first time. Price later commented that ‘this race will always remain vividly impressed on my memory, for at the end of first lap my position was 43rd, and at the finish (I was) seventh’.[6] This race provided yet further evidence of Price’s strong finish and it earned him selection in the England team for the ‘International’ Cross-Country Championship at Caerleon, which featured athletes from the four ‘home’ nations and France; Price was to finish in a respectable seventh position.[7]

Figure. 1. Jack Price in action.

Price’s growing reputation was further enhanced by an interview for the Athletic News in January 1907, which described him as a ‘tall, angular man’ and ‘a real, straightforward amateur, a splendid club man,’[8] and made reference to his real strength. That Spring his growing reputation within English cross-country running was demonstrated by his selection for the ‘International’, despite his absence from the English National Championships because of a bout of influenza.[9] In the ‘International’, Price finished a disappointing tenth, owing to a foot injury, a position he was to replicate during the AAA Ten-Mile Championships the following month.[10] Price’s performances had helped established him as an international quality runner, but there was little indication of the success that was to follow.

The summer of 1907 appears to be a pivotal period in Price’s development. Following victory in his preferred summer event; the mile, at the Crusader Harriers Annual Event, the County Advertiser & Herald for Staffordshire and Worcestershire commented that he ‘seems to have found what he has long needed – a little pace’.[11] This performance came shortly after his first victories in a mile race at West Smethwick and a three-mile handicap at Villa Park, following a ‘most determined effort in the last two laps’.[12] These results indicate that Price had found some pace, a valuable asset in his future successes.

Marathon Runner

During the spring of 1908, like so many of the premier distance runners in Britain, Price turned his attention to an unfamiliar event to English eyes, the Marathon. The event had become a highlight of the Olympic Games since its inception twelve years previously, but it had not taken off in Britain. The reason for this potentially was the preference for sprint and middle-distance races in Edwardian athletic meetings which produced more frequent moments of drama in order to satisfy the demands of the paying punter. The consequence of this had been that in the four previous Olympic Marathons (if the 1906 Intercalated Games are included), Britain had provided only six competitors and only James Cormack had completed the race in 1906, finishing in fourteenth place, 44 minutes behind the winner, Billy Sherring of Canada.[13]

The lack of knowledge about the Marathon, and who Britain’s representatives might be, ensured that in order to select their twelve representatives, the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) sanctioned a series of Marathon trial races to be held across the country during the Spring of 1908. This approach was totally different compared to that for the other track and field events, where athletes were selected following a single trial, held at the White City Stadium, the location of the Olympic Track and Field meeting, including the conclusion of the Marathon.

In total, there were eight ‘Marathons’ run during April and May 1908 (some of the distances varied, with some of the races taking place over just 20 miles). Three of these races were considered the ‘official’ Marathon trials and sanctioned by the AAA, and were held in Manchester, London and Birmingham (organized by Salford Harriers, Polytechnic Harries and Birchfield Harriers respectively), and the majority of the British Marathon athletes were selected based on their performance in these races. Detailed accounts of these races can be found in the The Marathon Race and The Manchester Marathons.[14]

The first official trial took place on 21 March 1908 and was organized by Salford Harriers. There is no evidence of Jack Price ever intending to run in this race, but he was amongst the 80 entrants for the London trial, held over much of the Olympic course on 25 April. Despite leaving Halesowen early that Saturday morning, a missed train connection ensured that he failed to make the start on time.[15] This meant that his only chance to impress the selectors came in his ‘home’ Marathon trial, that began in Coventry and finished at the Hawthorns, the home of West Bromwich Albion Football Club. The race had first been mentioned by Birchfield club secretary W.W. Alexander on 15 January 1908, where he described the request to organize the race as an ‘honour’[16] and over the coming months two routes were mentioned as possibilities, with that from Worcester to Birmingham the favourite, although at the last minute the alternative route between Coventry and West Bromwich was chosen.[17]

In total there were 31 entries in the race, twelve of whom came from Birchfield; with another six from Bearwood Harriers, while Price was amongst the six men representing Small Heath Harriers. Price stated that, ‘for this race I had no particular training except one run on the road, about twenty miles, a fortnight before’.[18] His final preparations were made all the more difficult by working ‘till midnight at the furnaces of Combs Wood Works’[19] the evening before the Marathon. The favourite for the race was the veteran Dido Day of Birchfield Harriers. He was a frequent adversary of Price on the cross-country circuit and had experience of ‘Marathon’ running, having unsuccessfully run in the Salford Harriers trial race in March.[20] Price stated that Day had undertaken a full trial on the course, and ‘twas said whoever beat Dido would win’.[21]

An article in the Birmingham weekly the Sporting Mail described the forthcoming race:

An excellent course of 25 miles had been mapped out, beginning at the railway bridge on the main road between Allesley and Coventry, and ending at the Albion football ground at West Bromwich, where the Birchfield club ran a sports meeting in conjunction with the trial…A challenge cup, value £25, was offered for competition, to be held by the winning team for 12 months, and there were four gold medals for the leading members, with silver and bronze medals respectively for teams-four to count-placed second and third. Competitors were permitted to run only the turnpike road, and pace-making was prohibited’.[22]

There was also the thought that the distance of the race at 25 miles (making it the longest of the eight trials), along with its hilly terrain, made this the toughest of the eight Marathon trials held. A report of the race described a crowd of ‘about 4,000’ being present for the start at 3:06 pm and that the course was littered with spectators and ‘at least 1,000 cyclists’[23] were present at Stonebridge for the runner’s’ arrival. Stonebridge marked the eight-mile mark in the race, and here it was the Birchfield athlete Stamps led, while a chasing group, which included Day and Price were nearly 300 yards behind. Stamps’ lead lasted until just beyond the 16-mile mark, when Price took the lead:

On the way to Castle Bromwich Stamps gave way the head of affairs to Price, who went through the village at a good swinging pace, with Day 1min 53 sec behind. Two and a half minutes later nipped by, followed by Lewis, between whom and the leader there was an interval of 5min 15 sec…A host of cyclists were hanging on to the heels of the leader (Price). The Small Heath man was nearly a mile in front of Day at Tyburn House. At Beggar’s Bush (18 miles), Price was leading 1½ miles from Day.[24]

Price continued to build his lead, and he passed the finish line at the Hawthorns 17 minutes 27 seconds ahead of the second-placed Day. Following his triumph, Price received a gold medal from Harry Butler of the MCAAA to ‘to mark what was regarded as an outstanding performance’.[25] Despite the manner of the victory, Price was disappointed to have finished just outside the 25 mile amateur record set by G.A. Dunning in 1881, a record which Price would attempt to beat on two separate occasions during 1909.

Following the victory, the press was full of plaudits for Price’s performance. In the Athletic News, Pleader explained that:

I have Price’s word for it that he never had a bad time in the race and was in good condition up to twenty-two miles. Thereabouts, the vibration affected his legs below the knee, and for a mile he was ‘groggy’. But those who saw his memorable finish will need no assurance as to his condition when the 25 ½ miles were ended. He finished the freshest man in the race.[26]

Birmingham sporting periodical Sport and Play and Wheel Life, described Price’s performance as ‘super-excellent,’ and that it was ‘the performance of the day, dwarfing all others, and comparison with the best performances in the races that have preceded it must certainly be accorded a high value’.[27] The article explained that after covering the first ten miles in 58m 33s, Price opened a small gap over Day, and that ‘the further Price went, the longer his lead became’ and at fifteen miles he sprinted up the ‘stiff hill’ near Tyburn House and with it making his lead up to ‘about a mile in front’, by the twenty mile mark his lead had extended to 11 ½ minutes and by the finish he was 17m 27s ahead, ‘a gain of six minutes in the last five miles’.

Table 1: Full Result of the Midland Olympic Trial. .[28]

Reflecting on the race in his weekly column in the Sporting Mail; W.W. Alexander described the race as ‘without doubt the most severe test’ of all the trial races and he believed that there ‘should be little trouble in finding a place for the winner, J. Price, in the British team at the big Olympic Games’. Alexander did worry that in the eyes of the ‘London critics’, they might not see it as an equal to the victory of Duncan in the Polytechnic trial, but believed his performance was at least ‘on a par’ with it, and if Price had competed in the Polytechnic trial ‘he must have been right up with Duncan, if not he had beaten him’. He concluded that:

No doubt the conditions under which the competitors ran in the Southern race had some effect on the time, but the course on Saturday was fully three miles farther, and the hilly roads, with long climb at the finish, made the Midland course much the harder of the two, so that on time Price can claim to be well in the running for a road record. The committee must take this into consideration when finally selecting the team.[29]

The reference to the conditions at the Polytechnic, referred to the slush and mud – following a snowfall – which were endured during parts of the race.[30] The British Marathon entrants were due to be named in early June following the track and field trials on 30 May.

Figure. 2. Jack Price’s medal from the Midland Marathon Trial.[31]

Price’s preparations for the Olympic marathon

Despite Alexander’s concerns about Price’s possible omission, the Midland Marathon Trial runner was named amongst the twelve British athletes selected for the Olympic marathon. Alongside the sprinter John Morton, they were the only representatives selected for track and field from the West Midlands. The selection did not bring with it any formal pre-games training, and all the British athletes were left to their own devices to prepare. Consequently, Price’s club, Small Heath Harriers, began fundraising to enable him to undertake extra training. Their primary means of fundraising came via an appeal made to local athletic clubs. The following letter is the letter that was sent to fellow Birmingham athletic club Birchfield Harriers in May 1908:

Dear Sir,

No doubt you are aware that one of our members J. Price the winner of the recent Midland Marathon Race has been honoured by being selected to represent this country in the forthcoming 25 Miles Marathon race in connection with the Olympic Games, which take place at the Stadium next month, he being the only Birmingham representative in this event.

It has been considered desirable that J. Price should undergo a special course of training, in order to be thoroughly fit for this important race, to enable him to compete under equal conditions with the specially-trained athletes representing the various countries from all parts of the world; but a preparation of this kind, which is most essential for such an arduous task, will necessarily entail considerable expenses and, owing to lack of funds, the Club find it impossible to render him the financial assistance that would be necessary. Therefore, a Subscription List has been opened with this subject in view, and seeing that this particular race is a matter of such national importance, on behalf of the Committee, I earnestly appeal to you kindly favour us with your financial support.

Thanking you in anticipation,

Yours faithfully,

Chas. C. Linton, Hon. Sec.[32]

The tone of this letter gives some suggestion that Small Heath were not in such a fortunate financial position that they alone could support Price’s preparations. Such training certainly was opposite to the values of ‘effortless superiority’ favoured by those administering English athletics, suggesting a Midland athletic identity more in-line with that favoured in the North of England than the south. The location at which the letter was found indicates that Birchfield were one of the clubs approached to contribute to the fund, although no confirmation of that can be found. One organization that donated to Price’s fund was the Midland Counties Amateur Athletic Association (MCAAA), which gave £5 5s.[33]

There is no other indication that the MCAAA aided Price’s preparations apart from to give him (and the other athletes selected to represent Britain under their jurisdiction) their train fare to enable them to reach London for their event.[34] Reporting on the fundraising, the Athletic News indicated that raising money for Midland athletes only arose following a notion with ‘particular reference to the Small Heath Harrier, J. Price’.[35] An editorial in Sport and Play and Wheel Life explained that there was apathy towards this appeal:

There does not seem the desire that was thought existed to subscribe to the found being raised to provide the only Midland honoured with a place in the Marathon Race with a little special training but I think that can only be because it has not been brought to the notice of a good many sportsmen. I am of in receipt of 2s.6d. from Mr D. Lucas, of Kettering, for the Price Fund, and that gentleman sends his mite as ‘An admirer of the way Price has always run for his club’. There must be many other sportsmen about who will help such a good cause, and I trust to hear from some of them during the week.[36]

The Athletic News gave further insight into Price’s preparations in an article entitled ‘A Midland Star: John Price’. It began by stating the importance of the marathon race, explaining it was the ‘greatest concern’ of the forthcoming Olympics, before describing his performance in the Midlands trial race and a quote from Price where he explained his preparations. Price stated he was, ‘having a week from work…just to get strong; and then I go back for a week and then another week’s holiday will bring the race along’. The article continued by explaining that would be the ‘the extent of Price’s training and it is to the credit of his club, the Small Heather Harriers, that even that moderate abstention from arduous labour has been possible. For Price, being a stoker, does really earn his bread by the sweat of his brow’.[37]

Birmingham’s ‘pink-un’, the Sports Argus further elaborated on Price’s preparations, explaining that the first of these weeks was spent in the Worcestershire town of Pershore, where he trained with the Small Heath Club trainer, J. Duggan. Duggan was not Price’s normal trainer, as Harry Jones, a Halesowen resident and close friend of Price’s had helped him prepare for the Birchfield Marathon, but for reasons that are unclear, he was not permitted by the Small Heath Committee to administer his preparations for the Olympic Marathon.[38]

Price’s Olympic marathon

The marathon race was undoubtedly the blue-ribbon event of the 1908 Olympics, coming on the penultimate day of athletic competition. The press gave the race extensive coverage; for example, The Times preview even included a map of the course.[39]

There appears to be several factors behind the interest in this race; primarily the uniqueness of the race and the stamina it required. For the British, the marathon represented an opportunity to prove their physical prowess, a notion that had been questioned since the press picked up on the recruitment issues for the British Army to fight in the Boer War (1899) and one furthered in the decade since by other factors, including international sporting defeats.[40] At the 1908 Olympics, success in the marathon became of even greater importance to the British following the dominance of the American athletes during the track and field meeting, where prior to the marathon they had won twelve gold medals over eleven days of competition (which would increase to sixteen by the end of the meeting), while Britain had won just six gold medals. Despite this, one preview prior to the Marathon believed that ‘we will have the first six men home’.[41]

The Olympic Marathon began in the grounds of Windsor Castle and at the start the athletes were lined up in four rows, with Jack Price placed in the second row, accompanied by fellow Brit, Fred Appleby.[42] From the off, Price positioned himself towards the front of the field, along with several other British athletes; most notably Thomas Jack, who lead the field almost from the off, but after reaching five miles in just 27 minutes he dropped down to a walking pace and out of the race.

On a day described as ‘Tropical’[43] in one newspaper report, Price, alongside fellow British athletes Fred Lord and Alexander Duncan and the South African Charles Hefferon, made up the lead group after Jack dropped out. In his analysis of the race, historian John Bryant describes that these men had been ‘sucked’ into what was a ‘suicidal pace’. [44]

After thirteen miles, Price was in the lead alone, reaching the distance in 1:15:13, 13 seconds ahead of Hefferon. Price’s own race would be over at 17½ miles, as Bryant describes, ‘while still in the lead, Price staggered to the side and sat down’. Fred Hatton wrote in the Athletic News, ‘A sudden collapse, the terrific heat of the sun, an equally strong pace, were all joining forces that betokened the early retirement of the Birmingham man; spent by his own folly and lack of forethought’.[45] This was to be the end of Price’s Olympic marathon.

The comments from the Athletic News were certainly echoed by Price himself. For this he blamed the British officials who had advised him prior to the race. As part of a series of articles he wrote for Birchfield Harriers magazine The Stagbearer from 1932, he remarked:

Disappointing to me, not because I failed, but because a great event like an Olympic Marathon was won in 2 hours 56 mins. whereas a few weeks previously I had run very nearly the same distance over a harder course in 2 hours 37 mins.

My belief is that there were four men running that day for Gt. Britain who were all capable of beating 2 hours 40 mins. Why they failed was purely lack of experience, for the Marathon at that time was a new distance for English athletes.

If there was one man that day who contributed more than others to the downfall of many competitors, then that man was Tom Longboat, of the Canadian team. Longboat was a great runner; he claimed a blood lineage of Indian, Irish and something else.

He was brought to Ireland a few weeks before the Olympic Games to finish his training, and it was given out freely that Longboat could and would do 2 hours 30 mins for the race.

Just before the race started, I was advised by two officials to hold Longboat if I could, their idea being that my stamina would beat him at the finish. Always a slow beginner, however, it was the worst advice they could have given me, as I realised too late.

True, I held Longboat alright and paid the price. At 13 ½ miles Longboat cried enough and left me in the lead 400 yards in front of C. Hefferon (South Africa). But my task was hopeless, for the pace had been much too fast, and at 17 miles my legs refused to function and I gave up’.[46]

The indication from Price appears to be that his own inexperience and the universal in-experience of marathon running within the British team was at fault for the failure. As Price remarked and had demonstrated throughout his career, he was a self-proclaimed ‘slow beginner’,[47] and he relied on a strong finish to bring him his success. Leading from the front and at such a pace on a hot day were not the tactics he was accustomed to, nor would attempt once again in his career.

Price was certainly not the only British runner to suffer this fate. Out of the eleven British athletes that began the race, only four finished. The first British athlete home was Billy Clarke in twelfth position and nearly 21 minutes behind gold medallist, Johnny Hayes. The result represented a disaster for the British and in the aftermath of the marathon, the British press were critical about their athletes’ approach. An Athletic News editorial was particularly damning:

The plan of each British runner seemed to be, ‘The devil take the hindmost’. Their very keenness to take the lead proved the reason of their downfall. It is all the same old story of the observance of old-fashioned theories. Had a team manager of experience been appointed even a fortnight before to look after the British Marathon men had good advice and good attendance been vouchsafed the men, matters might have been different. But I do think the chance of a marathon victory was absolutely washed.[48]

The first part of this quote certainly is relevant to Price, whose own ‘keenness’ ensured that he failed to run his own race. Price does mention being given advice by ‘two officials’, although there is no indication as to who they were and in what capacity they were giving advice. The Sporting Life was equally as frustrated, remarking, ‘the failure was due to lack of judgement and proper preparation rather than to the heat of the day or any other cause’.[49] Whereas, the Birmingham Daily Mail believed that Britain, the self-proclaimed ‘home’ of distance running was ‘not altogether pleased to be forced to realise that in this particular department of athletics we have apparently lost ground’.[50] The marathon race proved once again that in track and field athletics the United States was superior to Britain, further damaging British pride.

Figure. 3. A permanent reminder: Jack Price Way.
This leads to the Manor Abbey Stadium, the home of Halesowen Athletic and Cycling Club.                                                                                                       


Jack Price, like all of his compatriots, failed in his attempt to win the 1908 Olympic marathon. The decision to be at the front of the race from the start appears to have been fatal to his chances. Undoubtedly, Price would have been better served by relying on a strong finish, which had previously served him well and would continue to do so throughout his career.

In the following months, British distance runners, including Jack Price, became more experienced at running the Marathon, as in the aftermath of the Olympic Marathon the event underwent its own brief ‘boom’ in Britain. One of the first marathon’s organized in the wake of the Olympics took place in Bristol on 31 October 1908 over a distance of 23 miles (many of the marathons which were organized fell short of the now accepted length 26 miles 385 yards but were still considered as marathons). Price was victorious in this race, and as he noted in 1932, this came about through the use of tactics much more familiar to him than had been applied in the Olympic marathon:

Having learned my lesson and deciding to leave the leaders alone during the early part of the race, at half distance I was not in the first dozen and nearly five minutes behind the leaders, Barrett, Beale (Polytechnic) and Lord (Wisbey Park). The latter was a very consistent yet unfortunate performer in Marathon races, for he was placed in about six races without winning one. Alas, poor Fred has passed on and with him a real sportsman.

When entering Bristol Rovers’ Ground, I was on the heels of F. Lord, with a mile still to do, and I won by nearly a lap.[51]

In 1909, marathons began to appear across the country and Price enjoyed great success in these races, winning on four occasions during that year in Cheltenham, Pontypridd, Malvern and Peterborough. In the Autumn of 1909, Price turned to a different challenge; the 25-mile track record which he had come so close to during the Birmingham marathon trial. On two separate occasions at Stourbridge and latterly at Kidderminster, Price was to come close on both occasions, but ultimately, he was to fail to break G.A. Dunning’s record.[52]

In December 1909, Price turned professional. He described his reasoning for this decision as; ‘at that time I was employed, as I am to-day, by Messrs. Stewart and Lloyd’s, and things being quiet, I decided to try and improve my position by winning the Powderhall race, which at this time was one of the greatest annual events.’[53] The Powderhall marathon, held in Edinburgh on 3 January 1910, itself was a by-product of the marathon boom, having being held for the first time the previous year. In this race, Price trailed coming into the final mile but left his nearest opponent ‘standing’[54] in the final yards to win 2 hours 40 minutes and 7½ seconds, receiving £75 and a gold watch. Following this, Price established himself as one of the leading professional distance runners in Britain, competing in numerous races over varying distances against multiple and single opponents for financial reward.

In 1914, Price joined the British Army and was placed in the Royal Artillery Regiment. Little is known of his activities during the war, although he did write letters to A.E. Machin who wrote for Birmingham sporting periodical Sport and Play and Wheel Life and remarked in April 1917 that he had met the man he had set out to ‘keep hold of’ during the Olympic Marathon’, the Canadian Tom Longboat.[55]

After being demobilised from the Army on 2 February 1919, Price briefly returned to the amateur ranks, competing in the 1919 Polytechnic Marathon where he represented his regiment, finishing sixth.[56] Following this, Price competed in professional contests once again, before founding Halesowen Athletic and Cycling Club in 1923.



[1] Accounts of the race appear in amongst others; John Bryant, 26.2: The Incredible True Story of the Three Men who Shaped the London Marathon (London: John Blake, 2013), David Davis, Showdown in Shepherd’s Bush (New York: Thomas Dunne, 2012), Rebecca Jenkins, The First London Olympics: 1908 (London: Piaktus, 2012)

[2] ‘Jack Price’, Halesowen Athletic & Cycling Club, 1922-1949: Official Opening of the Manor Abbey Sports Ground, (August 1949), 29.

[3] Jack Price, ‘My experiences across country’, The Stagbearer 7, No 1, (1932), 3.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid

[7] ‘Cross-Country and Athletic Topics’, Athletic News, 28 January 1907, 3.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Pleader, ‘Cross-Country and Athletic Topics: The Midlands’, Athletic News, 11 March 1907, 3.

[10] A.E. Machin, ‘Athletic Notes: Midlands who didn’t score’, Sport and Play and Wheel Life, 30 March 1907, 12. ‘The Midland Brigade’, Sport and Play and Wheel Life, 20 April 1907, 14.

[11] ‘Sporting Items’, County Advertiser & Herald for Staffordshire and Worcestershire, 8 June 1907, 7.

[12] ‘Wolseley A.C. Sports: J. Price the hero of the three miles race’, Athletic News, 22 July 1907, 2.

[13] Martin Polley, ‘From Windsor Castle to White City: The 1908 Olympic Marathon Route’, The London Journal 34, No 2, (2009), 168

[14] David E. Martin and Roger W.H. Gynn, The Marathon Footrace, (Illinois: Charles C Thomas, 1979). Ron Hill and Neil Shuttleworth, Manchester Marathons, 1908-2002, (Dublin: Litho, 2003)

[15] W.W. Alexander, ‘Athletic Notes’, Sporting Mail, 11 May 1908, 1.

[16] W.W. Alexander, ‘Olympic Games’, 15 January 1908 (Birchfield Harriers Archives).

[17] A.E. Machin, ‘Athletic Notes: The Birchfield ‘Marathon’ race’, Sport and Play and Wheel Life, 4 April 1908, 14-15.

[18] Jack Price, ‘My Marathon Experiences’, The Stagbearer 8. Vol 1, (1932) 3.

[19] ‘Jack Price’s Career: He won the Powderhall Marathon’, Sports Argus, 28 May 1949, 3.

[20] W.W. Alexander, ‘Athletic Notes’, Sporting Mail, 4 April 1908, 1.

[21] Jack Price, ‘My Marathon Experiences’, The Stagbearer 8. Vol 1, (1932) 3.

[22] Athletics: Great Road race: Birchfield Marathon Trial’, Sporting Mail, 4 May 1908, 2.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Jack Price, ‘My Marathon Experiences’, The Stagbearer 8. Vol 1, (1932) 3.

[26] Pleader, ‘A Midland Star: John Price, Small Heath Harrier’, Athletic News, 29 June 1908, 2.

[27] ‘Athletic Notes: The Midland Marathon Race’, Sport and Play and Wheel Life, 16 May 1908, 14.

[28] Ibid.

[29] W.W. Alexander, ‘Athletic Notes’, Sporting Mail, 11 May 1908, 1.

[30] ‘The Polytechnic Marathon Trial Race’, The Polytechnic Magazine, May 1908, 41

[31] Published with permission of Jack Price’s grandson, Mick Whitehead.

[32] Letter written by Charles. C. Linton, (Small Heath Harriers) to Birchfield Harriers. (Birchfield Harriers Archive).

[33] Midland Counties Amateur Athletic Association, 7 May 1908.

[34] E W Cox, ‘Note and anecdote’, Sporting Mail, 1 August 1908, 2.

[35] Pleader, ‘Racing afoot and a wheel: The Midlands’, Athletic News, 22 June 1908, 6.

[36] ‘Athletic Notes: The Olympic Training Fund’, Sport and Play and Wheel Life, 28 June 1908, 14.

[37] Pleader, ‘A Midland Star: John Price, Small Heath Harrier’, Athletic News, 29 June 1908, 2.

[38] W.W. Alexander, ‘Athletic Notes’, Sporting Mail, 7 November 1908, 1.

[39] ‘The Olympic Games: The Marathon Race’, The Times, 25 July 1908, 8.

[40] Jose Harris, Private lives, public spirit: Britain 1870-1914, (Abington: Oxford University Press, 1993), 242; David Andrews, ‘Sport and the Masculine hegemony of the modern nation: Welsh rugby, culture and society, 1890-1914’ in John Nauright and Timothy Chandler, Making Men: Rugby and masculine identity, (London: Routledge, 1996), 55.

[41] W. W. Alexander, ‘Athletic Notes’, Sporting Mail, 18 July 1908, 1.

[42] Bryant, 26.2: The incredible true story, 213.

[43] ‘The Olympic Games’, Birmingham Daily Mail, 25 July 1908, 4.

[44] Bryant, 26.2: The incredible true story, 215.

[45] Ibid, 216.

[46] Jack Price, ‘My Marathon Experiences’, The Stagbearer 8. Vol 1, (November 1932), 3.

[47] Ibid.

[48] ‘The Marathon failure’, Athletic News, 27 July 1908, 1.

[49] ‘The Olympic Games: A critical review’, Sporting Life, 28 July 1908, 7.

[50] ‘The Olympic Games’, Birmingham Daily Mail, 25 July 1908, 2.

[51] Jack Price, ‘My Marathon Experiences’, The Stagbearer, November 1932, No 8. Vol 1, 3.

[52] ‘Price v Record: Small Heath Harrier runs well at Stourbridge’, Sports Argus, 18 September 1909, 8; W.W. Alexander, ‘Athletic Notes’, Sporting Mail, 16 October 1909, 1.

[53] Jack Price, ‘My Marathon Experiences’, The Stagbearer No. 8. Vol 1 (November 1932) 5.

[54] ‘Pedestrianism: Powderhall Marathon’, Sporting Life, 4 January 1910, 2.

[55] A.E. Machin, ‘Athletic Notes: Further News of Jack Price’, Sport and Play and Wheel Life, 28 April 1917, 8.

[56] ‘The Marathon Race’, The Polytechnic Magazine, July 1919, 82.