One of the first modem references to an unusual ultradistance performance named a Captain Barclay, who in 1806 walked 160 km in 19 hours. Three years later he ran 1 mile every hour for 1,000 consecutive hours (41 days and 16 hours) thereby earning sterling 16,000 (Van der Merwe, 1987).
Barclay was clearly an unusual man. A wealthy landowner, the sixth Laird of Vry, he had at age 21 submitted to the training of a tenant farmer, Jackey Smith, then the most celebrated British trainer of pedestrians. This involved a major role reversal, which was not common in a society in which a gentleman never accepted orders from those who were his social inferiors.
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Smith’s training program lasted 4 to 6 weeks and included running, walking, and hard physical labor (Radford, 1985). Smith was a hard taskmaster, once forcing Barclay to complete a 110-mile “time trial.” The training that Barclay received from Jackey Smith provided the basis for Barclay’s training methods when, after 1807, he himself became an athletic trainer.
Barclay first achieved notoriety as a trainer of the pugilist Tom Crib, whose victory over Tom Moulineux for the “Championship of the Pugilistic Prize Ring” in Vry, Scotland, in 1811 was ascribed largely to Barclay’s training methods (Radford, 1985).
In Walkers Manly Exercises (cited in Doherty, 1964), Running Recollections and How to Train (Downer, 1900), and Thom’s Pedestrianism (1813), Barclay gave the following advice for the beginning runner who had already undergone a 12-day period during which the runner took a course of “physic,” comprising a dose of “Glauber’s salts,” and was therefore ready to start training.
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