Host City: St. Louis, United States
Venue(s): Francis Field, Washington University, St. Louis
Date Started: August 29, 1904
Date Finished: August 29, 1904
Format: Final only.
The runners had to clear several hurdles and a 14-foot water jump on each lap. The distance was usually listed as 2,500 metres for many years in various books, but several St. Louis newspapers are clear that the distance was 2,590 metres.
The favorite was the Irishman, John Daly, while the top American runner, Jim Lightbody, was contesting his first steeplechase. After one lap, Daly led by 10 yards over Harvey Cohn, with Lightbody in second, another 10 yards back. After two laps, Daly had opened up a 40-yard lead, and he still led going to the last lap, though the margin is given variously as either 15 or 60 yards. At this point, Daly must have virtually collapsed, for not only was he caught by Lightbody on the last lap, but Lightbody pulled away to win by about 100 yards. Arthur Newton, who had never contended, finished third, another 30 yards behind Daly.
Jim Lightbody attended the University of Chicago and represented the Chicago AA. Although he won three gold medals at the 1904 Olympics, he was relatively unknown prior to that time. After winning the 880 yard/mile double at the 1905 AAU championships, he repeated his 1500 metre victory at the 1906 Athens Games, but failed by a narrow margin to defend the 800 metre crown.
|1||Jim Lightbody||22||United States||USA||Gold||7:39.6|
|2||John Daly||24||Great Britain||GBR||Silver||7:40.6|
|3||Arthur Newton||21||United States||USA||Bronze||30 yds bh2|
|4||Bill Verner||21||United States||USA|
|AC||Harvey Cohn||19||United States||USA|
|AC||David Munson||20||United States||USA|
|AC||Richard Sanford||26||United States||USA|