In the space of 24 hours in July 1908, dramatic events came to a climax at the first London Olympic Games. The marathon distance of 26 miles 385 yards set at that time has since been accepted worldwide and this thrilling account of heroism, ambition and scandal tells for the first time the story of three remarkable men whose destinies collided in the battles that overshadowed these Games. It is a tale that stretches from rural Italy to the battlefields of the Boer War; from Ellis Island to Broadway and beyond to explore the foundations of the modern sporting and marathon movements and celebrate the strength of the human spirit.

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