In 1928 the first of the so-called Trans-Continental Road Races was held, starting in Los Angeles and finishing in New York.
Taking part were Arthur Newton and Peter Gavuzzi, whose largely forgotten life stories Mark Whitaker explores in fascinating detail. Newton and Gavuzzi, both Englishmen, came from very different backgrounds, yet through their running experiences forged a lifelong friendship. His book also covers the reasons they fell into obscurity, which is largely due to the clash of amateurism and professionalism with the governing body refusing to countenance giving either man a coaching role. Whitaker ably explores what drove them on in their endeavors which is, as he convincingly argues, feeling ‘fully alive when running, ideally alone, over very great distances’.