Interesting story I read today while down the internet wormhole. Shizo Kanakuri was a Japanese marathon runner and early leader of track & field in Japan and been celebrated as the father of marathon in Japan.
His most interesting story, my opinion, began in 1912 at the Stockholm Olympics. Shizo had a rough 18 day journey to the event, and even after 5 days recovery still was struggling with things such as the local cuisine. On race day the heat was higher than normal at 25 °C (77 °F for the Americans), which proved to be too much. Shizo lost consciousness about halfway through the race. A farming family took cared for him for a brief time until he was able to leave. Due to his shame at having not finished he left without saying anything to race officials. Although he went home to Japan and continued to race in other events, Swedish authorities had him listed as a missing person.
50 Years Later
Sweden's authorities came to realize that he had never been missing. He was contacted by a Swedish television station in 1967 and offered the opportunity to complete his race. He accepted and did in fact complete the race with a finishing time of 54 years, 8 months, 6 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 20.3 seconds.
When asked for a comment, he said "It was a long trip. Along the way, I got married, had six children and 10 grandchildren."
Hope you enjoyed the story as much as I did upon reading it. Thanks for your eyes.