Running Through the Ages, 2d ed.


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About the Book

Beginning with prehumans running down prey, this book describes how ancient, medieval and modern runners have come to run ever faster. Writers of antiquity left few detailed accounts of running but in the early 1800s detailed accounts of running feats and matches appeared in newspapers, journals and books. Nineteenth century pioneers like George Seward, Harry Hutchens, Walter George and Bernie Wefers are here given long-deserved recognition. The six-day Go-as-You-Please races of the 1870s and 1880s—featuring running’s first great female performer, Amy Howard—are discussed.
Twentieth century luminaries Helen Stephens, Jesse Owens, Paavo Nurmi, Emil Zatopek, Bob Hayes, Abebe Bikila and Joan Benoit-Samuelson are included, along with the Bunion Derby races of 1928–1929. New material for this revised and expanded second edition includes coverage of the 1970s running boom, women marathon pioneers, the impact of drugs on running, and the feats of 21st century runners such as Usain Bolt, Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie.

About the Author(s)

Retired aerospace engineer Edward S. Sears is an avid runner. He lives in Shawsville, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Edward S. Sears

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 340
Bibliographic Info: 217 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7339-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2086-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Preface  1
Introduction  3
I. Running and Human Evolution (7,000,000–50,000 bc)  7
II. Running in the Ancient World (3,000 ­bc–ad 500)  15
III. From the Middle Ages to Pedestrianism (ad 500–1800) 36
IV. The Origin of Modern Running (1800–1850)  51
V. The Glory Days of the Pros and the Rise of the Amateurs (1850–1900)  72
VI. Organized Running Becomes a Worldwide Sport (1900–1950)  144
VII. Drugs, the Rise of the Africans and the Running Boom (1950–2000)  212
VIII. Running in the ­Twenty-first Century (2001–2015)  299
Notes  315
Bibliography  321
Index  325

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “the author has completely revised and updated this superb book”—Athletics 2016: The International and Field Annual
  • “By the nature of its far-flung and encompassing history of running, Ed Sears’ work is an excellent textbook of the lore, legend and history of running through the ages. I recommend this book as a resource for fans, coaches and aspiring runners.”—Jim Ryun, three time Olympian and former WR holder in the mile and 1500
  • “A lively and accurate account! I believe anyone reading this book will come away with the feeling they were there at the races and saw running history.”—Bill Rodgers, four time winner of Boston & New York Marathons; “well-researched and easily readable history…useful pictures”—Choice
  • “fascinating book…exhilarating…extremely well documented and a pleasure to read”—Olympic Review; “compelling biographical information…valuable historical and biographical information…recommend[ed]”—The Roanoke Times
  • “remarkable…rich in incident and character, much of it never seen in book form before…marvelous collection of rare illustrations…excellent index and bibliography…a book to treasure…fascinating”—Track Stats; “the definitive history of man’s urge to run both long and fast…great detail…[an] epic work…many…surprises await readers of this fine book…anyone interested in the evolution of the sport should run to their favorite bookstore—fast”—Road Race Management
  • “starts with running by pre-humans 5 million years ago, and ends with a look into the future of running…a valuable historic contribution”—Syracuse Post Standard
  • “an informative, enjoyable and completely definitive history of footracing…a sprint through history…crammed with wonderful short stories…magnificent photographs…thorough…great quotes, fascinating stories, superb illustrations…a wonderful jog down memory lane”—Athletics Weekly