Time ran out on endurance for three of the four men in the 10,000-meter run. Bob Soth, of the U.S., collapsed with three laps to go. Compatriot Max Truex's last-lap sprint seemed to be justified when he snatched second from Russia's Hubert Pyarnakivi, who finished, then crumpled. Max's feat, though, was denied by the judges' confusion.
Finished before the finish was Bob Soth (No. 63), who led throughout the second quarter of the race. He faded to third. As he began suffering from cerebral anoxia-oxygen starvation of the brain—he ran with his body tilted backward. With three laps to go he slowed to a walk, stumbled from side to side, won a battle with his senses and somehow remained upright. Instinct prodded his feel past one another for almost another half lap before he tumbled to the cinders. He rose, fell again, then was carried off. His pulse was 172, his blood pressure unrecordable by the gauge.
Finished after the finish was Max Truex, who seemed about to drop out midway through the race. He stayed in, fell far behind. With what appeared to be one lap to go, Pyarnakivi began failing badly. In an epic of racing, Truex showed new life and actually began to sprint. He gained almost 200 yards on Pyarnakivi, scooted past him and placed second. Truex, due to confusion on the part of the officials, was advised to go yet another lap. When he finally finished he walked shakily around the infield, then was overcome, given aid by one of his teammates and removed for treatment.
Finished at the finish was Hubert Pyarnakivi, who seemed to run the last mile in a trance. His awkward stride became even more stilted, but he refused to go down. As he entered the last straightaway a teammate, Vladimir Bulatov, rushed to lend a hand. Pyarnakivi finished and was instantly hoisted away by Bulatov, who carried him to a spot next to the pole vault runway. Several other teammates immediately shredded the shirt from his chest, rubbed his arms, pumped his legs and applied artificial respiration. Finally he was carried off piggyback-style by Semyon Rzhishchin.
Fresh at the finish, Aleksey Desyatchikov, the winner, who usually runs this race in about 30 minutes. He ran an extra lap, didn't seem to mind.