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The 1929 Bunion Derby: Johnny Salo and the Great Footrace Across America (Anglais) Relié – 30 avril 2014


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On March 31, 1929, seventy-seven men began an epic 3,554-mile footrace across America that pushed their bodies to the breaking point. Nicknamed the "Bunion Derby" by the press, this was the second and last of two trans-America footraces held in the late 1920s. The men averaged forty-six gut-busting miles a day during seventy-eight days of nonstop racing that took them from New York City to Los Angeles. Among this group, two brilliant runners, Johnny Salo of Passaic, New Jersey, and Pete Gavuzzi of England, emerged to battle for the $25,000 first prize along the mostly unpaved roads of 1929 America, with each man pushing the other to go faster as the lead switched back and forth between them. To pay the prize money, race director Charley Pyle cobbled together a traveling vaudeville company, complete with dancing debutantes, an all-girl band wearing pilot outfits, and blackface comedians, all housed under the massive show tent that Pyle hoped would pack in audiences.Kastner's engrossing account, often told from the perspective of the participants, evokes the remarkable physical challenge the runners experienced and clearly bolsters the argument that the last Bunion Derby was the greatest long-distance footrace of all time.



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Amazon.com: 8 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
What a Spectacle! 24 mai 2014
Par Mark Larson - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Charles Kastner dove deep in to the 1920s then wrote us a story about what life was like back then, in the context of a unique, and unbelievable foot race across America. The story of one racer, Johnny Salo, is the superstructure upon which the book is built. Yet so many more aspects of the race make the read so much more than about one man and a footrace. There is the circus atmosphere of entertainment brought along on the race, the sad drama of Seattle based African American runner, Eddie Garnder, facing down pervasive racisim on the run. The normalness of runners who stopped their lives to run across America. The fortitude of the runners to run day after day without the benefits of all our modern equipment, shoes, and clothing. The mystery of the runners running even though money to pay the winners was not likely to be delivered. This book gives a great view in to our American History but also human nature and the ability to do more than we could ever imagine. A good read!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The 1929 Bunion Derby by Charles B. Kastner 11 octobre 2014
Par Clyde Fahlman - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The "bunion derby", so designated by members of the press, captures the essence of the cross country sport in a stage by stage race across the United States. Seventy six runners began the transcontinental race in New York on March 31st, 1929; 78 days and 3553.6 miles later 19 runners finished in Los Angeles.

Citing these impressive statistics hardly does justice to the quality writing and extraordinary research by author Charles B. Kastner. True to form of most participants in the sport the author meticulously records the times of each runner, including the pace per mile. Even more significant is his research that extends to the communities visited, including commentary by media and community spokesmen. Coupled with his own observations this is a most welcome reach beyond the race itself.

Witness this opening comment: "The bunion derby had opened the minds of everyday people to the hidden, almost godlike potential that lies within each of them and had brought the sport back to its working class roots....the derby...at its heart, was a celebration of the common man and his potential for greatness. 'Some of the commentary by media representatives were candid e.g. a reporter in El Paso describes the runners as "a motley crew of begrimed unshaven men.."

There are many stories within the big story. Three stand out:

• The intensely competitive race of the leaders Johnny Salo, and Pete Gavucci, Salo being the winners by less than three minutes.

• The promoter Charles Pyle who had a "much earned reputation as an unscrupulous and uncaring leader."

• The Eddie Gardner story, ''the black runner whose performance mesmerized the St. Louis African American community." Along the route blacks adored him and most whites despised him.

In summary this inspiring book is a good read, particularly for the cross country racer -- 3000 meters to the marathon and beyond.

Reviewer: Clyde Fahlman, Author of "Laughing Nine to Five"
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Must Read! 8 mai 2014
Par Jill Wood - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Kastner's book is a captivating account that follows the participants of the 1929 Bunion Derby as they race from New York to Los Angeles. The author really captures the excitement of the event and the trials and tribulations that the runners faced during their 78 day journey. This book is well-researched and gives the reader the opportunity to glimpse into the lives of the men who participated in this race.

As a marathon runner, who is exhausted after 26.2 miles, it is hard to imagine the physical toll of running an average of 46 miles each day. Kastner's book really brings the event to life as it follows the personal journeys of the men as they undertake this almost unimaginably difficult physical endeavor. I found the book extremely engaging. I would highly recommend this book!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A must read for runners and anyone interested in sports history. 1 mars 2015
Par Bob Walch - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The story of the 1929 Bunion Derby, a cross country foot race, and Johnny Salo, the eventual winner, is an event tucked away in the annuals of American sports and running history. Charles Kastner not only refocuses attention on this long forgotten race but he tells the story in such an engaging manner that runners and non-runner alike will find this a captivating read. This is the type of story some Hollywood producer will suddenly rediscover and turn into a blockbuster film like "Breaking Away"!

Book provided by publisher.
Review of Charles Kastner's "The 1929 Bunion Derby, Johnny Salo and the Great Footrace Across America" 7 octobre 2014
Par David Warady - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Review of Charles Kastner's "The 1929 Bunion Derby, Johnny Salo and the Great Footrace Across America"

After winning the 1992 Runner's World, 3,000 Mile, Trans America Footrace, I never thought anyone who hadn't raced across the United States could adequately capture the essence of the race and the daily grind of its competitors. I was wrong.

Charles Kastner, in his "The 1929 Bunion Derby, Johnny Salo and the Great Footrace Across America" (and previously in his, "Bunion Derby, The 1928 Footrace Across America"), tells these incredible stories, and makes you feel as if you're in one of the race's touring cars, following the runners, each and every day.

Kastner describes one of the most outlandish events of our country's Roaring Twenty's period, where people didn't have NCIS, CSI, Desperate Housewives, or Monday Night Football. This epic event pitted a pioneering group of adventurous individuals, running and racing against each other, coast to coast, for fun, challenge, and prizes up to $25,000 (for winning). "The 1929 Bunion Derby" captures the excitement and uniqueness of it all.

I was impressed by how the book paints the back and forth, three thousand mile, battle between Johnny Salo, Pete Gavuzzi, and a number of other challengers. As a runner and writer, Kastner impressively and accurately understands the minds of the racers, their crews, and their inherent strategies. And I should know, having crossed the country as the 1929 racers did, only 61 years removed.

One of the hidden delights of the book, though, is the impressive historical research, illustrations, and detailed appendices of race statistics. I felt like I was taking a memorable walk back in time in our country's history. Without a doubt, it's a book that will inspire and capture the interest of the runner, athlete, adventurer, and historian alike. I highly recommend it without reservation.

David Warady, 1992 TransAmerica Champion
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