6 Day Race
For the bicycle race see Six-day racing
The 6-Day Race became a standard distance in the 1870s and was a popular form of entertainment where up to 70,000 paying visitors, in 1877, came to watch the Pedestrians battle it out.
Edward Payson Weston in 1867 walked from Portland, Maine to Chicago, Illinois in 26 days, a distance of 2,134 km (1,326 mi), earning him $10,000 and national fame. In 1874 Weston walked his first 6-day race and was challenged by Daniel O'Leary, who completed 500 miles (800 km) in 153 hours. The big battle took place in Chicago in November 1875 with O'Leary emerging victorious with 503 miles (810 km) and Weston finished with 451 miles (726 km).
In a re-match in 1877 O'Leary was victorious again and the excitement created enough interest for Sir John Dugdale Astley, a British Member of Parliament, to inaugurate a series of 6 day races to determine the "Long distance Champion of The World". These became known as the "Astley Belt" races and cash prizes were offered. O'Leary won the first two and was thwarted by Charles Rowell in his quest for three in a row. Weston won the fourth, setting a record of 550 miles (890 km) and Rowell won the final three multiday races to permanently keep the Astley Belt.
The 1879 World Championship
|2||Frederick Krohne||United States||461||742|
|3||John P. Colston||Sweden||452 and 1/5||727,5|
|4||Charles Faber||United States||450⅛||724,6|
|5||Ben Curran||United States||438¼||705,1|
|6||Peter N. Campana||United States||401⅓||645,8|
|7||W.H. Davis||United States||225||362,1|
- 24 hours: Guyon 105 miles; Faber 100; Byrne 95; Washington 93,5; Krohne 91; Campana 86; Colston 82; Curran 80; Urann 78; Kent 75; Forrester 67,5; Davis 60. Retired: Cotton (60) and Stark (52).
- 48 hours: Guyon 187 miles; Faber 178; Krohne 172; Campana 165; Washington 161; Curran 159; Colston 150; Kent 142; Forrester 118; Davis 102. Retired: Byrne (104) and Urann.
- 72 hours: Guyon 267 miles; Krohne 254; Faber 250; Campana 236; Colston 226; Curran 224; Washington 213; Kent 211; Davis 152
- 96 hours: Guyon 345 miles; Krohne 335; Faber 314; Colston 300; Curran 296; Campana 292; Davis 188.
In 1880, Fred Hitchborn set a new record of 565 miles (909 km) earning $17,000 dollars, a fortune at the time.
Between 26 November and 1 December 1888, George Littlewood of Sheffield, England, created a new world record of 623 miles 1,320 yards—a record world that wasn't beaten for 96 years.
By the early 1890s the six-day races were in decline and no longer drawing the public or offering large prizes.
It wasn't until Don Choi hosted a 6-day race in 1980 in California that interest began to grow again. Briton Mike Newton became the first man to cover 500 miles/800 km in a modern 6-day race at Nottingham in November 1981. In 1982, Tom O’Reilly took the 6-day total to 576 miles/927 km. In 1984 Yiannis Kouros twice ran over 1,022 km (635 mi) setting a new world record that would stand until 2005 when he broke his own record again with 1,036 km (644 mi) at the Cliff Young Australian 6-day race in Colac, Australia.
The first women's 6-day race took place in 1879 and was won by Bertha Von Berg with 372 miles (599 km). The women's world record was broken by Australia's Dipali Cunningham in 1998 when she covered 504 miles (811 km) at the Sri Chinmoy six-day race on Wards Island in New York in very wet conditions. In 2001 Cunningham set a new Women's road best of 510 miles (820 km).
Current 6-Day Races
- 6 Jours de France
- Across the Years (2013-2014)
- Adelaide 6 Day Race
- Antibes 6 Day Race
- Arizona 6 Day
- Athens 6 Day Race
- British Ultra Fest
- No Finish Line 6 Day
- Pantano 6 Day Race
- Self-Transcendence 6 day
- South Africa 6 Day Circuit
- Unixsport 6 Day International Ultramarathon Challenge
- Andy Milroy Yiannis Kouros - The Making of a Legend
- Andy Milroy The events and performances that have shaped ultrarunning
- Kelly Collins - The History of Multiday Running
- 6 Jours D'Antibes.com
- Multiday races
- ULTRAmarathonRunning.com Global Ultramarathon Races & Events Calendar
- King of the Peds
- Ultramarathoning: The Next Challenge, by Tom Osler and Ed Dodd
- Ultrarunning magazine
- Multiday Running Magazine
- King of the Peds, by P.S. Marshall