A feat of endurance of such magnitude as the one under notice, must only be undertaken by a man with a wide knowledge of athletics, and in the finest trained condition. Otherwise the result may prove disastrous.
Even with my varied athletic exper1ence, I had, at the outset, greatly under-estimated the task before me.
Wisdom born of defeat schooled me; success at length rewarded my efforts, and recompensed me for all my labor, as the following account will show: —
On May 25th, 1903, I started from The Royal Exchange, Glasgow, with the object of walking 1,000 miles in 20 days. After covering 455 miles in 9 days, I was reluctantly compelled to retire, my feet being in such a swollen and blistered state, that I found it impossible to get my boots on when I arose on the morning of the tenth day.
This was a great disappointment to me, but scarcely as great as when I again failed in a similar attempt in the September following.
This time I did a splendid performance from a strictly athletic point of view, namely:— 420 miles within 7 days, but still the object striven for was not reached.
I now decided to retire finally from active participation in athletic feats, but Necessity, in the form of a record established by Dr. Deighton, forced me to again enter the lists.
In the spring of 1904, this well-known athlete walked from Land's End to John o' Groat's in 24 days 4 hours. His chief sustenance en route was a much-advertised meat juice. The credit which should have been given to the undoubted courage of Dr. Deighton was largely claimed by the company who ran the whole affair financially.
To prove that flesh foods generally and meat juices in particular are utterly unnecessary for such a feat of endurance, now seemed to be a task it was my duty to perform, in view of my two previous undertakings. My record walk was the result.