The random page link on wikipedia is amazing. Sampling the site in this way gives you an idea of the shape of the what’s recorded there, and how odd it can be (there is an a list fictional pigs. Really, fictional pigs!) And the random pages sometimes offer trailheads to strange explorations and wikiholes.
One recent trail led me to Captain Barclay, who trained the bare-knuckle boxer Tom Cribb; but he is more famous for hyper-pedestrianism. In 1809 he took a bet to walk 1000 miles in 1000 hours, walking a mile each hour. A huge crowd gathered to watch him, and kept getting in the way, almost putting his endeavour at risk. People were so excited about the end of the walk that every available guest room in Newmarket, Cambridge and the vicinity was taken.
In 1864, a woman named Emma Sharp set out to duplicate this feat. I’d not heard of her before, but there is a contrast between her attempt and Captain Barclay’s. She completed the challenge on 29th October. Wikipedia states “[Sharp] rested in the Quarry Gap pub in between walking approximately two mile stints every 90 minutes and completing 14,600 laps of 120 yards over the course of 1000 hours.” And then continues, “It is reported that her food was drugged and people attempted to trip her to prevent her from finishing, for the last two days she carried a pistol to protect herself.”
Wikipedia mentions there was a great deal of money wagered on Sharp, and many accounts so this was why she was harrassed. But this is a story I’d love to know more about – more than can fit into a wikipedia page.If you want to follow what I'm up to, sign up to my mailing list