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  • greatest runners of the 19th century

    It seems like there have been alot of bios lately about 19th century runners (Dinnie, Wharton, Deerfoot, George, Myers (going back a few years) and one coming on Seward). Not to mention, good articles out there on Ford, Hutchens, etc. For those of you history buffs out there, who are your top 5 runners of the 19th century?

  • #2
    I just got the George Seward biography by Ed Sears last week - a very nice work by Ed, who had done an earlier work on many of the great runners of the 19th and early 20th century.

    As far as runners go - depends on if you mean sprinters or distance runners. For sprinters, the "consensus" among the 4-5 people in the world who look at this that far back seems to be that Harry Hutchens was the 'fastest man alive' back then. Lon Myers was obviously pretty impressive because of his range from 100 to the mile. But doubt he could have beaten Walter George in the mile at his best. They did race 3 times when Myers was in England. I think George won twice but would have to go look that up and that is verboten on this board.

    Malcolm Ford does not match up as a runner/sprinter with some of the best, but he was the best all-rounder of the 19th century. He does not have a bio out yet - but he will - soon.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bambam
      I think George won twice but would have to go look that up and that is verboten on this board.
      I know that looking up answers to trivia questions and the like is verboten, but I don't see anything wrong with checking an interesting fact before you include it in a post where the fact is relevant to the discussion at hand.

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      • #4
        William Wilson, born 1st November 1795 at Stayling, Yorkshire, England and died, well i think he never did.
        Such are our memories!

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        • #5
          Hey, I remember Wilson....Was it Hotspur or some other boys' paper in which he appeared?

          Then there was Alf....Can't remember the last name, a miler....He at least was mortal.

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          • #6
            Wait til kuha gets back from England this week. He can answer any question on this matter.

            By the way, beware of Potts' book on Myers, he doesn't even spell his hero's first name correctly!

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            • #7
              Could Alf ???? been the legendary Alf Tupper aka ' The Tough Of The Track'.
              Oh yes I hear you all shouting, the lying back and remembering Wizard, Hospur and Rover.
              Gadzooks enough of this nostalgia, i'm off to butter me crumpets and settle down for the night.

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              • #8
                OK, I checked the facts on the Lon Myers - Walter George races:

                4 Nov 1882 - Manhattan Polo Grounds - 1/2-mile - Myers won in 1:56 3/5 to George's 1:57

                11 Nov 1882 - Manhattan Polo Grounds - Mile - George won in 4:21 2/5 to Myers's 4:27 3/5

                30 Nov 1882 - Manhattan Polo Grounds - 3/4 Mile - George won in 3:10 1/2 to Myers's 3:13

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                • #9
                  Thank you, dadme. Alf Tupper it was. The Stuff of Legend.

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                  • #10
                    bambam, would you place Ford above Dinnie as the greatest all-around athlete?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by parkerrclay
                      bambam, would you place Ford above Dinnie as the greatest all-around athlete?
                      Probably not, Ford was best American all-rounder, but they were very different. Ford was a jumper/sprinter - only American besides Carl Lewis to win the 100/200/long jump at the national championships. Dinnie was primarily a weight thrower, and a passable jumper.

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                      • #12
                        bambam,

                        after reading Sears's book on Seward, would you say Hutchens or Seward was the better sprinter?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by parkerrclay
                          bambam,

                          after reading Sears's book on Seward, would you say Hutchens or Seward was the better sprinter?
                          I still sort of think Hutchens. The definitive early work (prior to Sears' recent stuff) on professional running was Powderhall and Pedestrianism. Great little book if you can find it. Powderhall was a Scottish track that held many of the British professional races.

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                          • #14
                            how about Seward's 9.25 in 1844?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by parkerrclay
                              how about Seward's 9.25 in 1844?
                              Sears makes a pretty good case that it was an accurate time given the limited accuracy of timepieces in that era. But it seems to fail the smell test.

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