The Great American Footrace

Categories: Sports, Action
55min | 2002
THE GREAT AMERICAN FOOTRACE documents an extraordinary 3,422-mile cross-country trek in 1928, won by 19-year-old Cherokee Indian Andy Payne, the shy son of an Oklahoma farmer who entered the race because ?I just thought I could do it.?

Dubbed ?The Bunion Derby? by sports writers of the day, this was a grueling competition in which 199 runners attempted to cross the United States. Facing scorching temperatures, intermittent supplies of food and water, competing without modern running shoes or equipment, only 55 men finished the 84-day race from Los Angeles to New York. The film not only describes Payne?s incredible achievement, but tells the story of a race that was filled with drama, hucksterism, and even the early beginnings of corporate sponsorship of amateur athletic events.

One of the first roads to be designated a U.S. Highway was Route 66, running from Chicago to Los Angeles. Cy Avery of Tulsa, known as the Father of Route 66, and a member of the American Association of State Highway Officials, wanted to promote the fact that a network of roads had been created to link the U.S. from coast to coast. To calm people?s fears about driving long distances, the idea of a foot race across the country was born.

The man chosen to organize and promote the foot race was Charles C. Pyle, the P.T. Barnum of sports promotion. When a $25,000 grand prize was announced, men from all over the world, including prominent long-distance runners from Finland, South Africa, and Canada signed up. Others who entered were unknown immigrants whose heads were filled with dreams of fame and fortune. Andy Payne?s family borrowed $125 for Andy to enter the race and he headed off for the training camp in Los Angeles.

In the end he triumphed in the face of overwhelming odds, simply because he believed in himself.

More

Topics: Native American, Going after a Dream, Sports, Running, Extreme, Travel, Voyage, Expedition, Racing, Champion, Cross Country, United States, American History
Reviews: A+ 8 Fans
· A · · B · · C · · D · F
Grade This Film
Your Grade: Not Graded
Click to Regrade

Comments

Wendy Suite
Wendy Suite
June 7, 2014
So glad to learn the story of Andy Payne! Not just a great Native American hero - a great American hero.
Nancy Williams
Nancy Williams
March 5, 2014
A+
Orin Lucas
Orin Lucas
December 19, 2013
Loved the great american foot race.
Allen Owens
Allen Owens
December 16, 2013
A
Steve Vurture
Steve Vurture
September 21, 2013
B+
Timothy Kinney
Timothy Kinney
August 31, 2013
A
Chris
Chris
July 10, 2013
A+
Cordelia Bemis
Cordelia Bemis
March 4, 2012
Determination to finish against "overwhelming odds, simply because he believed in himself"! Run, exercise, for your life.