Book cover of Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport by Matthew Algeo

Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America’s Favorite Spectator Sport

Strange as it sounds, during the 1870s and 1880s, America’s most popular spectator sport wasn’t baseball, boxing, or horseracing—it was competitive walking. Inside sold-out arenas, competitors walked around dirt tracks almost nonstop for six straight days (never on Sunday), risking their health and sanity to see who could walk the farthest—500 miles, then 520 miles, and 565 miles! These walking matches were as talked about as the weather, the details reported from coast to coast. […Learn More]