91: Six-Day Race Part 1: The Birth (1773-1870)


Manage episode 305998314 series 2396657
Player FM과 저희 커뮤니티의 Davy Crockett 콘텐츠는 모두 원 저작자에게 속하며 Player FM이 아닌 작가가 저작권을 갖습니다. 오디오는 해당 서버에서 직접 스트리밍 됩니다. 구독 버튼을 눌러 Player FM에서 업데이트 현황을 확인하세요. 혹은 다른 팟캐스트 앱에서 URL을 불러오세요.
By Davy Crockett You can read, listen, or watch Recently, the six-day race received some attention in ultrarunning news because the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) announced that they would no longer recognize the six-day event or keep records for it. This shocked many ultrarunning historians and particularly runners who participate in multi-day fixed-time races. After a brief uproar, the new IAU leadership back-peddled, somewhat admitted to their ignorance about six-day ultrarunning history and agreed to continue to recognize the event that has roots in the sport going back nearly 250 years. Ultrarunners who exclusively run trails may wonder, “what is this six-day race and why is it important?” The six-day race is an event to see how far you can run or walk in a period of 144 hours or six days on roads, tracks, or trails. Six days was a historic time limit established to avoid competing on Sundays, respecting local laws of the time and the religious beliefs of many of the participants. Help is needed to continue the Ultrarunning History Podcast and website. Please consider becoming a patron of ultrarunning history. Help to preserve this history by signing up to contribute a few dollars each month through Patreon. Visit https://ultrarunninghistory.com/member Six-Day Background Today, the six-day world record is held by Yiannis Kouros of Greece, who covered an astonishing distance of 635 miles on a track in New York City in 1984. Later in 1988, he covered 639 miles on a paved loop course at Flushing Meadows, also in New York. Historically, the six-day race grew out of solo six-day challenges, motivated by significant wagers and fame. They were first accomplished by ultra-distance walker/runners referred to as “pedestrians” who covering staggering distances during the late 1700s. Recent research has discovered that there were far more athletes than previously known, who took up the six-day challenge in the early 1800s. These occurred exclusively in Britain. Their grueling runs/walks were accomplished outdoors on dirt and muddy roads/trails, frequently in harsh weather conditions. In the late 1800s, as attention was revived for these six-day solo accomplishments, egos and greed of participants and organizers also grew. The six-day challenges evolved into competitions in America between multiple walkers, and the six-day races were born, attracting thousands of spectators. It became the most popular spectator sport in America for more than a decade. How did the six-day challenge begin? Here is the story. Foster Powell, the Father of the Six-Day Race Long before the six-day races began in the late 1800s, there were numerous six-day walking feats that have been mostly lost in history. The first famous British “pedestrian,” Foster Powell (1734-1793) started the focus on walking/running for six days and can be considered the “Father of the Six-Day Race.” Foster Powell was born in 1734, in the small village of Horsforth, Yorkshire, England, near the city of Leeds. His father was William Powell, a prominent farmer. When Foster Powell was 28, in 1762, he moved to London to work as a law clerk for a “temple lawyer” at an inn. There were a group of inns in London called the “Inns of Court” attached to Churches, used as offices for clerks and lawyers. These inns consisted of sections called the Inner Temple and Middle Temple. In 1766, Powel moved, and went to work for his uncle at New Inn (next to Clements Inn), another inn for clerks and lawyers. He worked and lived there for the rest of his life. Powell worked hard but was the object of ridicule by his fellow clerks who regarded him as “a milksop and a muff.” He was described as “a cadaverous-looking young fellow, thin and apparently weak. He was thought very little of, either in respect of his mental or physical qualities.” He was “a quiet inoffensive lad, shy, and somewhat unsocial,

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