There was no clear favorite in this event. The field contained experienced marathoners like Vandendriessche of Belgium and Kantorek of Czechoslovakia. The Russians were not well known, but they were expected to be contenders. And then there was Jim Hogan, the Irishman who had the temerity to run to the turnaround with Abebe Bikila in the Tokyo Olympic Marathon, only to drop out well before the finish. The highly talented Hogan was always up with the leaders, but he often wasn’t around at the end of the race. He had dropped out of two races both in the last Euros and in the last Olympics.