George Seward: America's First Great Runner
On September 30, 1844 in Hammersmith, England, Connecticut-born George Seward ran 100 yards in nine and a quarter seconds, setting a record. This performance helped establish Seward as the most famous athlete in the world, and his feat remained unsurpassed for almost ninety years. However, in 1889, six years after Seward's death and 45 years after the run, his achievement was declared invalid based on a doubtful "eyewitness" account of the race. Though this dubious version may have been fabricated to discredit Seward's record because no runners of the time could approach it the damage was done. After his record was invalidated, Seward fell into obscurity and within a few years, he became nearly forgotten. In George Seward: America's First Great Runner, Edward S. Sears seeks to restore Seward's standing among the greats of track and field. In the early 1840s, when Seward was in the prime of his career, there were no amateur sports in America and just a few professional footraces, so Seward engaged in wagers to display his skills. Within a few years, he established himself as a runner to beat, both in the states and across the Atlantic. Sears recreates many of the races Seward undertook, in which he offered starts against the best runners of his day, started on his knees or racing up to ten men separately in an hour. He even ran against horses. While this book concentrates on Seward, it also covers the history of professional sprinting from the early 1800s to the present. Sears illuminates the formative years of track and field, both in America and England, and much about the Victorian era of sports is covered here, including an emphasis on gambling. About more than the triumphs and misfortunes of a great American athlete, this book examines the adoration of sports celebrities and the struggle between amateur and professional athletics. George Seward is a fascinating profile of an American sports original and should be of interest to not only runners but fans of all sports, as well as general"
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The Emergence of Americas First Great Runner
Champion of England and America 18441845
The SewardJackson American Tour 18451846
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100-yard record 25 a side 50 a side agreed amateur American Deer April Athletics August backer Badcock Barlow Beacon Course Beat Beaten best sprinters betting career challenge champion championship Charles Westhall Cricket Ground December defeated Despite distance Donaldson England fans fast fastest feat feet finish Flora Grounds footraces friends Ganwick Corner George Seward Gildersleeve give H. A. Reed Haven horse hour hurdle race Hyde Park inches John Goulstone John Howard July jumping June later Liverpool London Manchester March match race Morgan Newton Moor November November 24 October offered opponent Orleans pedestrian performance Peter Lovesey pistol Powderhall prize professional sprinting rheumatism run 100 yards runners scratch second race September Seward and Jackson Seward ran Seward won Sheffield Sheffield Handicap spectators speed Spirit sporting journals sprint races sprinters stakes starts Tavern took victory watch weeks Westhall William Jackson York Clipper