Joe Scott

(1865 - 1908)

Joe Scott
For more than a decade, Joe Scott was regarded as the finest competitive walker in the world – when the sport was popular and known as pedestrianism – and could lay claim to being New Zealand’s first world champion.

Irish-born Scott moved to Dunedin when only 10 years old, weighed 23kg and was just over a metre tall, when he won his first significant race, an invitation two-mile at the Caledonian Ground in Dunedin.

He beat the previous year’s winner and was said to have been congratulated by the Governor, Sir George Bowen, with the words: “Bravo little man. Well walked indeed. Some day you will be champion of the world.”

Scott was almost unbeatable in New Zealand over the next 10 years and in 1888, he went to Britain, where his dominance continued.

Among his wins was a six-day contest (12 hours a day) for the world championship at the Agricultural Hall in London. He won in a record distance of 365 miles 1150 yards.
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Test Century
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