World's Greatest Walkers.
Years ago New Zealand possessed some of the world's greatest walkers. Men of the calibre of Joe Scott, whose remarkable career was fully reviewed in the “Railways Magazine,” F. H. Creamer, “Dorrie” Leslie, Olympic Games starter, and Dave Wilson, all held world's records, some of which have not yet been broken. Walking suffered a bad lapse until recent years when a moderate revival took place. Without doubt the walking of G. S. Cabot, W. Lankey, A. Hill and I. Driscoll has done much to restore the heeland-toe sport to popular favour. Driscoll recently made an attempt on the world's record for two miles, but the weather conditions were against him, and he failed by a small margin. “Dorrie” Leslie was the judge, and could not speak too highly of Dris-coll's style. It is unfortunate that the sprint walk has been deleted from the Olympic programme, as Driscoll is definitely in world's class. Given competition against class men, Driscoll is capable of breaking 6 mins. 25 ⅘ secs, which is the world's record. The record was formerly held by F. H. Creamer, who walked 6 mins. 27 ⅖ secs, at Auckland in 1897. Dave Wilson led for the first half-mile, the lap times were 82 ⅕ secs, and 97 ⅘ secs. These
(Rly. Publicity photo.)
The “Arawa” combined passenger and goods rail-car in service on the Wairarapa line, North Island.
times were also world's records, but a curious mistake crept into the record book. At that time New Zealand amateur athletes were under the control of Australia and a cable was sent to headquarters informing the authorities that “Creamer had walked one mile in 6 mins. 27 ⅖ secs. Sectional times quarter 82 ⅕ half 3 minutes. Applying record.” The record was approved and Creamer
instead of Wilson
figured in the record books. Creamer was entitled to the one mile record, but Wilson was the man who had made the 440 yards and 880 yards record. Stranger still, the error was not rectified in American record books until more than thirty years later, when a reprint from an Auckland paper of 1897 was forwarded to T. S. Andrews, publisher, who immediately corrected the error. One reason for the error going so long without correction is that there is no official recognition given the distances under one mile, although in earlier days such walks were common.