The name John Hayes will be familiar to many in sporting circles, but not perhaps the John Hayes of 1908 from New York City.
That year 'American John' received a job promotion when he was moved from counter clerk to the manager of the sporting goods department at Bloomingdale's department store.
What he had done to get the promotion is at the core of this week's theme.
When you hear of his success, you might be of the opinion he was short-changed. If you think he was unfairly rewarded, wait until I tell you about Dorando Pietri. All will be revealed.
We are now less than a month away from the 34th Dublin Marathon. It was Hal Higdon – the running scribe and coach – who once penned: "The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals."
For more than 14,000 runners from every corner of the globe, the temperature is starting to heat up.
This week's offering is simply to set a scene. Starting next week, I will share what I believe are simple tips that will ensure we all get to the finish line having experienced significant enjoyment – as well as an extreme workout – along the way.
Many, including FIT columnist Eoin McGinn, are running for the first time. His preparation over the last few months has made very interesting reading.
Many more are back having made their debut last year. Dubliner Martin Kelly is running his 34th consecutive Dublin Marathon. No mean feat.
Perhaps I should start by suggesting that there is nothing to be feared. Respect, however, now that's a different matter.
Marathon preparation cannot be bluffed. Every runner will get what he or she has trained for.
So who were Hayes and Pietri?
On July 24, 1908, Pietri was leading the 1908 Olympic Marathon race in London.
Pietri had taken the lead shortly after mile 15,
but once in front, he pushed on harder than was necessary. As he entered the stadium – with less than half a mile to go – he was on his last ounces of energy.
So disillusioned was the Italian (23), he turned right instead of left. Realising his error was one thing. Rectifying it after more than 25 miles was another.
Such was his distress, he collapsed, only to be helped to his feet by officials and a doctor. He didn't seek it. It just happened.
Moments later, he crossed the line in 2:54.46, with Hayes a little more than 30 seconds behind. Hayes protested and was eventually declared the winner. He got the gold, the glory and the promotion.
Given that Pietri had no part in seeking assistance, the next day the Queen awarded him a gold cup in recognition of his achievement. He also had a song composed in his honour. It was one of the first big hits of renowned composer Irving Berlin and was simply called 'Dorando'.
I wonder what this year's winners will get in Dublin.
Gerry Duffy is a motivational speaker and endurance athlete. www.gerryduffyonline.com