Bunion Derby: The 1928 Footrace Across America by Charles B. Kastner

By Charles B. Kastner

On March four, 1928, 199 males coated up in la, California, to take part in a 3,400-mile transcontinental footrace to manhattan urban. The Bunion Derby, because the press dubbed the development, was once the brainchild of activities promoter Charles C. Pyle. He promised a $25,000 grand prize and claimed the contest might immortalize U.S. road direction sixty six, a 2,400-mile street, ordinarily unpaved, that subjected the runners to mountains, deserts, dust, and sandstorms, from l. a. to Chicago.

The runners represented all walks of yank lifestyles from immigrants to millionaires, with a peppering of superstar overseas athletes integrated by way of Pyle for exposure reasons. For eighty-four days, the lads participated during this half footrace and half Hollywood creation that included a highway express that includes soccer legend purple Grange, foodstuff concessions, vaudeville acts, sideshows, a transportable radio station, and the world's greatest coffeepot backed by way of Maxwell condominium serving 90 gallons of espresso a day.

Drawn by way of hopes for a greater destiny and desires of repute, fortune, and glory, the bunioneers launched into an exhaustive and grueling trip that might problem their actual and mental patience to the fullest whereas Pyle struggled to maintain his cross-country highway express afloat.

"In a wild seize for glory, a forged of nobodies observed wish within the dirt: blacks who escaped the poverty and terror of the outdated South; first-generation immigrants with their mom tongue thick on their lips; Midwest farm boys with leather-brown tans. those males have been the 'shadow runners' males with no popularity, wealth, or sponsors, who got here to l. a. to stand the world's maximum runners and race walkers. This was once an impressive box of prior Olympic champions racers that are supposed to have discouraged sane males from pondering they can win a transcontinental race to manhattan. but they got here, flouting the chances. Charley Pyle's offer
of loose nutrition and accommodation to an individual who could absorb the problem opened the race to males of constrained skill. For a few, it was once a cry from the psyche of no-longer-young males, looking a final snatch at greatness or a summons to do the very unlikely. This pulled males at the fallacious aspect of thirty from blue-collar jobs and families."--from the Preface

"No author 'owns' a swath of background the best way Chuck Kastner 'owns' the wildly loopy C. C. Pyle Bunion Derbies. The inaugural race was once a really American epic: from its sizeable scope to the truth that it was once ruled by way of a handful of second-rate runners who determined there has been no destiny in carrying on with within the underdog function. Chuck's publication makes you must time table your subsequent holiday for path sixty six, there to relive the zaniness and heroics of 1928."--Rich Benyo, editor, Marathon & past Magazine

"Bunion Derby's narrative arc transcends the educational technique one may anticipate from a college press."--Philip Damon, at the Peace Corps Writers website

Charles B. Kastner lives in Seattle, Washington, and has released a number of articles in Northwest Runner and Marathon and past magazines. Bunion Derby is his first book.

"...a wonderful, compelling, spell binding examine a bit of yankee background that for the main half pale into the airborne dirt and dust its contributors without doubt kicked up."-- BiblioBuffet

"[Kastner's] familiarity with recreation operating, his affinity for the characters he's writing approximately, and his enamor for pageant infuse [The Bunion Derby], giving it an epic quality.--The Chronicles of Oklahoma

"We imagine [Bunion Derby] may make a good vacation present for any of your working or history-minded pals, yet get one for your self, too. it is a nice read."--Northwest Runner

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