The British team for the 1900 Olympic marathon was made up of the first three finishers in the 1899 London-Brighton race. Having placed third in that event, Ion Pool, the 42-year-old son of a London dentist (and was himself a well-known Kensington dentist), went to Paris, but, like the other two British entrants Frederick Randall and William Saward, he retired within four miles. Writing in the South London Harriers Gazette, Pool provided an interesting insight into the race. He told of obstruction by the French spectators and likened the race to a “steeplechase with cars and bicycles for obstacles”. As a member of the Essex Cycling Club, Pool was also a notable cyclist and long distance walker. In 1903 he finished fourth in the London-Brighton-London race, completing the journey within 24 hours and in 1904 he finished sixth in a 50-mile track race at Crystal Palace. Oddly this walking race was won by another Olympic marathon runner, Bertie Thompson, who took part in the 1908 Olympic race. Pool was the first president of the Surrey Walking Club in 1899 and also served on the committee of the London Athletic Club until 1914. A regular early-morning bather in the Serpentine in Hyde Park, he died after sunbathing at Hastings in 1931. He fell asleep in the sun and when he awoke was taken to hospital where pneumonia set in following the excessive exposure.
Personal Best: Mar – unknown.
Athlete Olympic Results Content