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)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across Americaby Geoff Williams, Geoffrey Williams
Transcontinental Foot Race were an assortment of underdogs, including twenty-year-old Oklahoman and part Cherokee Andy Payne, who wanted to win over the girl of his dreams and pay off the mortgage on his family's farm; Paul "Hardrock" Simpson, who was in over his head but couldn't let down
Among the runners of C. C. Pyle's First Annual International
Transcontinental Foot Race were an assortment of underdogs, including twenty-year-old Oklahoman and part Cherokee Andy Payne, who wanted to win over the girl of his dreams and pay off the mortgage on his family's farm; Paul "Hardrock" Simpson, who was in over his head but couldn't let down his North Carolina hometown; Mike Kelly, a luckless boxer from
Indiana; Seattle's Ed Gardner, one of four black runners who encountered bigotry; Charles Hart, a sixty-three-year-old Englishman hoping his best days weren't behind him; and Frank Johnson, a middle-aged husband,
father, and steelworker from St. Louis who broke away from his humdrum life and dared to do something different.
Newspaper and magazine journalist Geoff Williams details this historic event and the colorful cast of characters involved, based on firsthand accounts of those who were there and interviews from many living descendants. C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race is a classic American story so astonishing and surreal that you have to hear it to believe it.
- Rodale Press, Inc.
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- 6.39(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.22(d)
Meet the Author
Robertson Dean has recorded hundreds of audiobooks in most every genre. He's been nominated for several Audie Awards, won nine Earphones Awards, and was named one of AudioFile magazine's Best Voices of 2010.
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