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I think the very big difference here is that the John Tarrant story is one of supreme accomplishment in the face of adversity. Ghost Runner is a very real, if desperately sad, tale of an extremely talented runner who never received the accolades his performances so richly deserved. This as opposed to the 'ghost written' autobiographies that are often shallow by comparison and fail to convey the true soul of an athlete in the way that Bill Jones does with his retelling of events. Neither is it a contrived story written as a profit making exercise which books of the genre Born to Run tend to raise suspicion of (maybe a little unfair as they do give pleasure to many).
I wish you every success in your campaign Nicky and how wonderful it would be to see a statue, maybe along the riverside in Bishops Meadow, in order that John finally receives the recognition that befits his achievements. Will look out for news and offer support should you require. From a fellow Herefordian (well for the last 25 years at least!).
even worse - there were banned 'professionals' who were permitted to race in AAA events... as long as they waited 5 mins or so for the 'proper' athletes to get going.They could then win by 30mins but still see the 'amateur' guy written up as winner and no mention of their vastly superior finishing time.
Against this I can see that plenty of races with purses involved betting and were clearly bent. I don't think this besmirches any of the big figures of that mountain culture but there is a point about smaller races. Still, using that to wage war on local kids and fell racing was looks very misguided indeed.
This was going on in the 80s too, way later than John Tarrant. I don't think its all class related though- there is a fair degree of hubris and stupidity involved.
Gideon Levy wrote (see)
It was and is a class thing. Obviously if you are miles ahead of the posh boys you will get noticed but if you are neck in neck with them you will not even get a look in.
Ah, the class warrior strikes again! Might have been true 50 years ago, but no one gives a toss now.
On the original subject, I'm a shocker for reading running books. Sounds like I'll have to add another to the list.