61: The 100-miler: Part 8 (1950-1960) Wally Hayward and Ron Hopcroft

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Manage episode 271335504 series 2396657
על ידי Davy Crockett התגלה על ידי Player FM והקהילה שלנו - זכויות היוצרים שמורות למפרסם, לא ל-Player FM, והשמע מוזרם ישירות מהשרתים שלכם. הירשמו כדי לעקוב אחר עדכונים ב-Player FM, או הדביקו את כתובת העדכונים באפליקציות פודקאסט אחרות.
By Davy Crockett 100-mile attempts mostly ceased across the world during the 1940s due to World War II. By 1946 some isolated 100-mile attempts reemerged, including a walking event in England where seven athletes accomplished the distance in less than 24-hours. Rex Whitlock of Great Britain walked the 100-mile Bath Road course in an amazing 17:44:40 in 1952. Ultrarunning, at other distances, also came to life again in South Africa when the Comrades Marathon (55 miles) was held again in 1946 and the Pieter Korkie 50 km was established in Germiston. In England, the London to Brighton running race (52 miles) was established in 1951, using the famed road used by walking and biking events for decades earlier. Ultrarunning was reawakening. During the prewar decades, hundreds of successful 100-mile attempts and events were held. Would the 100-miler truly come back in the modern era of ultrarunning? World War II formally concluded, but conflicts continued across the world. During the aftermath of the war, with evolving superpowers, the changing world map, and the resulting Cold War, it made it a difficult time for ultrarunning to emerge widely. But the running sport has always been resilient. Korean War 100-mile Marches During the Korean War, 100-mile death marches took place. In July 1950, Burdett Eggen, age 18 from North Hollywood, California experienced his first and only day of combat. He was with 1,800 men who were told to take three hills but were ambushed near Hadong. Only 125 survived including Eggen who played dead but discovered and captured. After being held in a church that then was bombed and strafed, the surviving prisoners were taken to a prisoner of war camp in Seoul. But after a month, Eggen and others were forced to march 100 miles to Pyongyang to stay ahead of advancing U.S. troops. Eggen said, “During the march they fed us things like dog biscuits. We didn’t have much water, but the biscuits had to be soaked before you could eat them But pretty soon even the biscuits ran out, and we had nothing to eat except what we could steal along the way.” They were divided up into groups of 50 and those in the last group, the weakest would get shot when they fell out. “Everybody tried to help his buddies, half carrying the weaker ones along.” At the finish of their 100-miler they were taken further by train and stopping near a tunnel. Most of Eggen’s group of 30 were massacred there and he was shot in the leg and again played dead. Six survived, went into the woods and later were found and rescued by American airborne troops. Great Escape 100-miler In 1950, at Monroe, Louisiana, two boys age 15 and 16, escaped from the Louisiana Training Institute and walked 100 miles in two days to Shreveport on railroad tracks. Both were eventually found at the home of one of their mothers and taken into custody by the police. “State troopers investigating the case said the boys had blisters as big as your fist on both feet.” Cotton Picker 100 During November 1951, about 100 migrant Mexican workers quit their cotton-picking jobs in west Tennessee and started a 100-miler. The men had been brought from Mexico to work on a plantation owned by Terry Jamison. He said they just “walked out” of their contract. The Mexicans had quit their job because of bad food and pay. As of November 22, 1951, forty-nine of them had finished the 100 miles, arriving in Memphis Tennessee, footsore and frightened, complaining bitterly their working conditions to Angel Cano, the Mexican consul. The feet of most of the finishers were badly blistered. They were given government-paid lodging and food in a local hotel. Fifty-one other men were still on the road walking. It was reported that others had been thrown in to jail when they tried to leave Tiptonville, Tennessee. A Sheriff admitted to jailing about 20 of the 100-miler entrants. The group was eventually provided transportation back to their homeland.

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