Bruce Tulloh Book – Anniversary Edition

It’s fifty years since sixties running legend Bruce Tulloh (CR 1973-94) made his record breaking 2,876‑mile run across America in just under 65 days. To celebrate this and commemorate Bruce, who died last year, his family are republishing his long out of print book, Four Million Footsteps, which chronicled his amazing transcontinental adventure.  To do so they are raising the funds for this via Kickstarter.

When Bruce Tulloh retired from international athletics in 1967, he had won gold over 5,000m at the 1962 European Games, run a sub-four-minute mile and broken the British record over three and six miles. His diminutive frame and habit of running barefoot had made him a popular figure, although Olympic glory had evaded him. At 32, faced with the prospect of running in the Mexico Olympics at altitude, he decided to call it a day. Ironically what he chose to do instead was far more challenging. In the Guinness Book of Records Bruce chanced upon the world record for running across America, at that time held by Don Shephard, who had done it in 73 days. Breaking this, thought Bruce, would be “a piece of cake”. The reality was a little bit tougher. Bruce trained for the run whilst working full time as a teacher, fitting in runs on the way to and from school and doing longer runs at the weekend. Although an experienced athlete he had never run more than 23 miles in one stretch. Four Million Footsteps is a detailed account of that run, a run undertaken with a fairly rudimentary support system and not that much knowledge of what lay on the road ahead.

It was far from plain sailing — on the first day he suffered violent cramps in both legs and passed out. He recovered to run on that day but was soon crippled by injury and after ten days was reduced to walking with a stick. Slowly his body adjusted to conditions, held up by his indomitable will, and by the end he was up to running 40 miles a day — “a running machine” who ended the run in better shape than the beginning.

The original book, often described as “the greatest running book of all time”, is long out of print. The new 50th Anniversary Edition will be a handsome thread-sewn, beautifully designed hardback.

Jojo Tulloh (C2 1987-89), Bruce’s daughter, former competitive runner, writer, and editor of the 50th Anniversary edition of Four Million Footsteps says:

“Like many small children I thought my dad was amazing; when I was old enough to measure him against the rest of the world, I found out he really was. Four Million Footsteps turns the statistical feat that is running coast-to-coast into a daily event you can share (without the agonising muscle pain) as you cross the vast expanse of America, step by step with Bruce. For ultra-runners this book will be a bible; for the rest of us it’s an inspiration, an escape from the everyday and proof that with enough will power you can overcome any odds.” Please support and publicise the Kickstarter