This is an advertising flyer, printed in London, showing the five competitors expected to be in the fourth international contest for the Astley Belt held at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, London, during June 16-21, 1879. The contestants were, from left, Edward Payson Weston of Providence, Rhode Island, USA; Richard Harding of Blackwall, London, England; Henry "Blower" Brown of Fulham, London, England; John Ennis of Chicago, USA, and Charles Rowell of Chesterton, Cambridge, England. Weston, shown in his usual walking attire (high boots, fancy shirt, and riding crop in hand), won the race by scoring 550 miles and 110 yards in 141 hours and 55 minutes (including periods of running very fast--his 526th mile being covered in 7:37). He became the first man to cover 550 miles in 6 days. Brown covered 453 miles; Ennis stopped after 180 miles and Harding dropped out after only 109 miles. Rowell, winner of the belt in March of the same year, didn't show up for the race due to a training injury.
The small print at the lower right side of the flyer reads, "The Belt. The Gift of Sir J L Ashley [sic], Bart., MP, was first won by O'Leary, Agricultural Hall, London, March, 1878, and Rowell beat O'Leary, New York, April, 1879, & Brought the Belt Back to England. It remains to be seen whether Ennis can beat our men." The bottom line is the name of the flyer's printer.
(Image courtesy of P. S. Marshall. All rights reserved. See page 238 of King of the Peds.)
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