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#202878 - 04/13/19 04:05 AM The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon
lacaca Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/27/19
Posts: 2
I'm old enough to recall that brouhaha. blush

Some time in the past three or four years I read that President Kennedy more or less pulled that comment, to the effect that any fit, red-blooded American lad should be able to hike 50 miles in a day, out of his, let's just say, 'hat'. After all, that's roughly a double-marathon, and it's well beyond any ordinary fitness level in the industrialized countries.

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#202880 - 04/13/19 05:57 AM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: lacaca]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 903
Loc: Michigan
Actually it was originally proposed by Theodore Roosevelt as a challenge to the US marines. The idea was picked up by Kennedy. A lot of folks actually did it.


Edited by GrumpyGord (04/13/19 05:57 AM)

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#202881 - 04/13/19 12:14 PM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: GrumpyGord]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3041
Loc: Portland, OR
I also was old enough to be aware of this when it happened. Of the folks who actually did it, I wonder how many were able to move the next day, beyond the absolute minimum. It's not the kind of challenge one can do without preliminary conditioning and not pay a high price physically.

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#202882 - 04/13/19 01:58 PM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6655
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Do the Boy Scouts still have a 50-mile hike badge? They used to.

I never participated in the madness, but those 50-milers were quite popular in the 1960s and 1970s. I remember 50-milers as fund raisers for the March of Dimes. Lots of footsore teenagers hobbling around afterwards!

As a new mom with several babies/toddlers in that era, I couldn't have participated if I had wanted to!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#202883 - 04/13/19 04:01 PM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1726
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I don't know if they have a 50-mile badge any more, but they do have a 50-mile trip requirement (2 or 3 nights) as part of the backpacking merit badge requirements.

I do remember some of JFK's fitness-in-the-schools stuff. I reluctantly participated in junior high (it was calisthenic-intensive, and I was never much of a gym rat: no scenery, no sun, and no hills.)

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#202887 - 04/14/19 12:00 PM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: OregonMouse]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1183
Loc: Florida panhandle
Originally Posted By OregonMouse

As a new mom with several babies/toddlers in that era, I couldn't have participated if I had wanted to!

If you were chasing toddlers I'm pretty sure you exceeded 50 miles on a daily basis.

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#202888 - 04/14/19 02:16 PM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: PerryMK]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6655
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
You may be right!
lol


Edited by OregonMouse (04/14/19 02:16 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#202900 - 04/17/19 10:49 AM Re: The 50 Mile Hike Phenomenon [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2842
Loc: California
Last week I did a "spring conditioning" 17.5 mile day-hike with 2,000 feet gain in 5 hours and 40 minutes. Went home and walked the dog another 2 miles. Had I been able to keep up that pace for a total of 15 hours (not likely at my age!), I could have met the challenge. 50 miles at 3 mph (a reasonable day-hike pace) is about 17 hours. That is not too outrageous for a fit 20-something if there were minimal elevation gains. However, a bit difficult to impossible for those of us 70 years or older.

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