A 96 year record? 623 miles? Read on….

“Reading is something I love almost as much as running.” Thanks to Noel Paine for this blog post https://noelpaine.wordpress.com/

There are some books I like reading, some are amusing, others are some work to get through. I thoroughly enjoyed the one I am about to present to you. The book was unique, was on a subject I had heard a bit about but had much I had no idea about – and kept me turning the pages.

Come on, I will share a bit.

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Pedestrianism – When Watching People walk was America’s favourite spectator sport

Author: Mathew Algeo

262-page hard cover book

The book starts off where this interesting sport of pedestrianism started –in Boston with someone by the name of Edward Payson Weston. Just under 500miles and 10 days later, something had started. A craze for walking! Yep! Hard to think of in this modern age and perhaps just the thought of reading about walkers is not pumping you up to read about it. But walking called pedestrianism, competitive walking with big money, bets and insane stories of luck, losers, winners and multi-day events with thousands of spectators happened. It was all in the day before baseball, before television. Its all in the book.

What I thought of the book

Like in my introduction – liked alot. There was an amazing amount of detail but the read was not dry. There enough drawing and images to punch up the book a bit and aid in imagining scenes from the past. The book focuses on a couple of runners who really became stars of the great epoch of walking (pedestrianism). This book is worth buying, borrowing or getting from a library that might have it – whether you are a walker, racewalker or runner.

Here is one walking record from the day to try and get your head around –Between 26 November and 1 December 1888, George Littlewood of Sheffield, England, set a 6-day world record of 623 miles 1,320 yards—a record world that would stand for 96 years!  In 1984 Yiannis Kouros ran over 635 miles to set a new world record.

*Online reading about subject of “pedestriamism”:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedestrianism

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/03/297327865/in-the-1870s-and-80s-being-a-pedestrian-was-anything-but

Thanks to Mathew Algeo for letting me review his book – place of honour in my running book library. You can find the book online here.

**Check out my other running book reviews here.

See you out on the roads my friends or here on my blog!

Me on Twitter @NoelPaine

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