C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America

C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America

by Geoff Williams, Robertson Dean
     
 

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A riveting account of an incredible 3,423-mile foot race across America,
the Great Foot Race of 1928, and of C. C. Pyle, the legendary sports promoter who masterminded the event.See more details below

Overview

A riveting account of an incredible 3,423-mile foot race across America,
the Great Foot Race of 1928, and of C. C. Pyle, the legendary sports promoter who masterminded the event.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A breezy, entertaining read that properly balances the runners' integrity with the comedy of errors that was Pyle's grand experiment and his life." —Publishers Weekly
Library Journal - Audio
01/01/2014
Endurance contests were all the rage in 1920s America. There were dance marathons, flagpole sitting, long-distance swimming, and eating contests. Glory was hard to gain, and fame was fleeting; only a few contestants parlayed their experience into any fortune. In 1927, sports promoter C.C. Pyle proposed a foot race from Los Angeles to New York City with a grand prize of $25,000. Runners would pay an entry fee, but the real income, in Pyle's business plan, would come from the towns and cities that would gladly pay for the privilege of being a featured stop along the route. Almost 200 men from the United States and a dozen other countries were at the starting line on March 4, 1928, for what sportswriters promptly dubbed the Bunion Derby. Contestants included a young man from Oklahoma who wanted the prize money to save the family farm; a college athlete and hometown hero from North Carolina; Italians, Finns, Britons, and a single African American. Some had trainers (and good shoes and socks); others did not. Eight-four days and 3,422 miles later, 55 runners reached Madison Square Garden. Pyle accompanied the runners in a custom trailer, but he failed to raise the sums he forecast and went into partnership with a rival promoter to get the prize money. VERDICT This engaging and poignant snapshot of American sports and social history is highly recommended for popular collections.—Nann Blaine Hilyard, Zion-Benton P.L., IL
Publishers Weekly

Pyle, a sports agent and promoter, came up with the idea of a footrace (mockingly known as "the Bunion Derby") from Los Angeles to New York that promised $48,500 in cash, including $25,000 to the first-place winner. For a $125 entry fee, male participants got the chance for a nice payday while subjecting themselves to harsh weather, primitive housing and Pyle's ego and shady business practices. They also had to run 3,500 miles over 84 days (the equivalent of 40 miles a day) long before comfortable running shoes and sophisticated sports nutrition. Williams, a contributor to Entrepreneurmagazine, has evocatively recreated a long-forgotten sports event, mixing colorful anecdotes from the race with vivid portraits of the runners. There's Brother John, a bearded zealot who raced in a sackcloth, and 20-year-old Andy Payne, a part-Cherokee Oklahoman who competed to pay off his family's farm and to win the attention of the girl he loved. What could have been one long injury report or a sappy piece of nostalgic nuttiness is a breezy, entertaining read that properly balances the runners' integrity with the comedy of errors that was Pyle's grand experiment and his life. Photos. (July)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452611099
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
05/30/2013
Edition description:
Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

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