Photo courtesy of Mark S. Auerbach, Passaic City Historian (personal collection)

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March 4, 1928.  One hundred ninety-nine runners toed the starting line at C. C. Pyle’s First Annual International Transcontinental Foot Race.  Eighty-four days later, fifty-five of those runners, wearier and scruffier, jogged into midtown Manhattan, completing the longest, craziest foot race in history.  Find out just how crazy.  Read about the motley crew of runners who entered; their trials crossing mountains and deserts, foothills and plains; the struggle to keep the race operation from going bankrupt; and the winner at the end.

More commonly called the Bunion Derby, this event anticipated the running boom in the United States by a half century.  No wonder we also call it The Great American Foot Race.

To arrange school and library visits, contact the author at spenoa@zoomtown.com.

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About the Author:
Andrew Speno

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Andrew is the younger in a pair of identical twin brothers.  The two played team sports growing up–soccer, hockey, baseball–and went to canoe-tripping camp in Canada in the summers.


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Andrew became a counselor-in-training when he was sixteen.  He was expected to carry a canoe across portages, even though he was literally a 99-pound weakling.  He struggled.  Mightily.  The next year he found a light canoe and learned to run across the portages–the faster to get it off his shoulders.


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After college Andrew focused on his teaching career and his family.  He turned forty and worried that he had lost physical fitness.  He tried running and loved it.   When he considered writing a children’s book, he thought immediately of the crazy transcontinental foot race he had read about in “Runner’s World.”  Seven years later, here it is!

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Andrew’s wife, Sue, hates running, but she likes biking and swimming–in moderation.  His daughter, Erin, enjoys musical theater and gets her exercise, in part, by chasing Pokémon over the streets and byways of Cincinnati and Oxford, Ohio.  Benjamin likes singing and dancing on stage, too, but he is also a math geek and computer nerd.