Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deerfoot


In the chapter entitled "Training with Experts", Tim Noakes (Lore of Running) profiled 29 of the greatest runners of all-time. The first is Deerfoot - a Native American born near Buffalo, NY who lived and raced in England from 1861-1883. He was already a known professional runner in the U.S. before he went to the U.K. - but, he became a legend across the pond. Thousands of spectators would come to watch him run. He would play up the public's curiosity with his Seneca background by screaming war chants as he crossed the finish line and even staging a fake scalping.

His most impressive accomplishment was in 1863 when he ran a world record 11 miles 970 yards in 1 hour, which wouldn't be beaten for 90 years later until Jim Peters ran 11 yards longer in 1958. More impressive than his times was the fact that he basically founded a professional sport. Although you wouldn't know it these days the Brits were the studs of distance running for most of the 20th century. Most of them could trace their tradition back to interest created by an Indian from America.

3 comments:

RM said...

Most important/fastest Indian...until Arjun...

THE KRIS said...

not that you guys wear shoes, but those are some big indian-from-america shoes.

Alex said...

Cool story. Had never heard that before. I like how your blog is a reader's digest version of running books.