Filmed by Vitagraph, The Marathon Derby is a celluloid record of an actual sports event, held at the fabled Polo Grounds in New York. Unfortunately, it rained throughout the entire marathon, thoroughly dampening the contestants (but not their spirits). The Vitagraph cameramen were unable to get any decent, uninterrupted views of the race (rain tended to blot out all light sources) and had to resort to brief "flashes" of the event. Critics of the period did not appreciate this fast-cut technique, though within a few years such inventive editing would be de rigeur. When first screened at the Hammerstein Theater in New York City, The Marathon Derby was "explained" in a humorous manner by a professional announcer named Loney Haskell.
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