Pedestrianism - old fashioned competitive walking

Pedestrianism is a 19th-century form of competitive walking, a precursor to the modern day Olympic sport of race-walking. Pedestrianism competitors were often professional, and the events funded by wagering.

For a brief period pedestrianism was a very popular sport. Competitors would achieve great feats of long-distance walking. In the USA, some races were brought indoors and became popular spectator sports.

Mostly, there were no specific technique required to be followed. By the mid-19th century, competitors were often expected to extend their legs straight at least once in their stride and obey what was called the "fair heel and toe" rule - generally the toe of one foot could not leave the ground before the heel of the next foot touched down. The sport was codified in the late 19th century, incorporated into the amateur athletics, and these walking events were incorporated into the early Olympic Games athletics program.

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