A long-distance runner since high school, Harry Hall has completed 18 marathons including the Boston Marathon twice, and has a personal best time of 2:27. After graduating from college, he spent 20 years coaching collegiate cross-country and track and field, with several athletes qualifying for national championship competitions.
While coaching in the late 80s, he discovered two other passions that would veer his life down an unexpected road. He began freelancing for publications such as the Dallas Morning Newsand writing a syndicated a health and fitness column; and he joined Toastmasters International which led to several speaking engagements and an adjunct teaching position at the University of Dallas and later, SMU.
Wanting to move into professional speaking and writing, he wrote a book on overcoming the fear of public speaking titled, Help! Everyone is Staring At Me.
While researching a book on American women distance runners, he stumbled across the untold story of the pedestriennes, the professional female endurance walkers who captivated America from 1876-1881.
People packed theatres and opera houses to watch the pedestrinnes walk on makeshift tracks for days or weeks at a time. Success earned them fame and riches, failure meant going home penniless.
Harry spent the next 12 years traveling the country and researching the topic, most notably getting invaluable help from descendants of one pedestrienne. But he found few who had ever heard of these pioneering women and no prior books on the subject.