Saturday, January 27, 2018

Winter Reading 2018 The Great American Foot Race


Who would have thought that the construction of a new highway would lead to a cross-country marathon? But that's exactly what happened. and Speno describes how the concern of business owners and a clever sports promoter came together in a very unexpected way. The construction of Route 66 had businesses along the proposed length of the highway looking for increased recognition in hopes of future customers traveling through, and they teamed up with C.C. Pyle to create an event that would capture public attention. Looking back from our world of social media and constant news coverage, it's hard to imagine the obstacles that stood in their way. The fact that this came at the end of the Roaring Twenties with its dance marathons, pole-sitters, and other outlandish competitions helps to explain why people would be willing to attempt such a monumental feat.

Complete with descriptions of the key figures, maps of the route, historical photos, and even advertisements of the race, the book traces the event from its inception through every milestone along the way and the results at the finish line. 

Those who are interested in marathons and running, or who simply enjoy sports stories of all sorts, will have an entertaining dip into a piece of history. It is also a good read for anyone interested in the ballyhoo mentality of the Twenties.

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