If you liked running, you’re going to love walking. Why bounce around town, drenched in sweat, when you can go on a power walk instead? Walking can be just as healthy, and it is the perfect kind of exercise for those who are unable to participate in more strenuous sports. Rupert’s article outlines the history of pedestrianism and some of the best professional walkers, step by step. 


According to the Harvard Medical School, walking “counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes . . . helps tame a sweet tooth . . . reduces the risk of developing breast cancer . . . eases joint pain . . . [and] boosts immune function.”

Rupert Taylor

Robert Barclay Allardice is considered to be the father of pedestrianism. He raked in the dough by having people place bets on his record-setting attempts. Other professional walkers followed in his footsteps, and the sport became an easy way to make money.



The popularity of pedestrianism was less to do with the sport itself than with the opportunity to bet on the outcome. However, during the Victorian era, a body of opinion developed that saw wagering as sullying the purity of the sport. Enter Britain’s Amateur Athletics Association.

Rupert Taylor

This author’s article covers the sport’s rise to stardom, and why it became somewhat controversial over time. Even so, it eventually became an official Olympic event as part of the decathlon, and these races have become longer and longer ever since.

Photo Courtesy of Canva

Posted by:Samantha Cubbison

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