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This day in NY sports history

THIS DAY IN NY SPORTS HISTORY

Saturday, March 7, 1885

Skate-a-thon at the Garden proves fatal

The first six-day roller skating race at Madison Square Garden was won by Willie Donovan of Elmira. He logged a whopping 1,092 miles in the 142 hours to earn a $500 prize. The 19-year-old, however, died just a month later of acute pericarditis - an inflammation of the lining around the heart. Joseph Cohen of Brooklyn, who earned $50 for completing the race, died 11 days after the race of cerebral meningitis, which coroners believed was caused by overexertion from the marathon.

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