Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Pedestriennes: America's Forgotten Superstars by Harry Hall

The Pedestriennes by Harry HallEndurance races seem to be growing in popularity as your "Tough Mudders" and 100 mile races get into the news more and more. But this is not a new phenomenon. In the 1800s,  endurance/fast walking was great entertainment. People used to pay good money for people like Robert Barclay Allardice, Captain Barclay, to walk for up to 6 day with little to no respite. In fact, Barclay managed the feat of 1,000 miles in ~1,000 hours, an astonishing thought at the time (and even now quite frankly.)
By the mid-1800s, women were looking to cash in on similar feats. And there were some big names who did some amazing things. Most of the book is taken up with Ada "Madame" Anderson who walked 4,000 quarter miles in 4,000 hours (1,000 miles in just over 166 days). When she succeeded, pedestrianism exploded. But then, as always seems to happen, the tide turned.
This book could have used some better editing (words misspelled and even missing) but it was an interesting look at an early endurance sport.

No comments:

Post a Comment