(Note:For More about the Redwood marathon of 1927 there will be a presentation by Jim Berry at the Gold Street School Resource Center, Room 9 in Yreka. Saturday, March 26th at 1:00 sharp.
Judy E. Bushy
Have you heard the story of “Mad Bull” (better known as John Wesley Southard, son of Lee Southard) and “Flying Cloud,” who was Henry Thomas were amazing runners. They were the first and second winners of the 1927 Redwood Highway Marathon. The next year, Flying Cloud came in first place.
The race was the idea of the promoters of the Redwood Highway from San Francisco to Grants Pass, Oregon.
The Happy Camp General Store was owned by Herbert G. Boorse (1873-1932) and he sponsors the race and trained the Happy Camp runners!
“Mad Bull” was Karuk, John Wesley Southard age 23 (#5) and won the 480 mile race in 7 days, 12 hours, and 34 minutes. It was reported, “Mad Bull came in smiling but worn out.”
“Flying Cloud” (#2) was Henry Thomas who came in 2nd in 1927 and first in 1928. “Fighting Stag” (#3) was Marion Southard age 20. “Rushing Water” (#7) was Gorham Lincoln Southard, was still a teen at age 18. “Falcon” (#7)was 29 year old, David Henry Huey. The other Karuks were W. E. Simpson, Elder Earl Barney and James D. McNeil.
Mike Kirk, the A.A.U. commissioner for Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, trained and picked three Zuni Indians. They were the toughest and best of Zuni Tribal Reservation in New Mexico. He reported, “The Zuni runners are a colorful lot, with head bands and silver belts.” When they ran, they striped “to the waist.”
Marvelous Marin County sponsored Jamon of the Zumi. Chochee was sponsored by Humboldt County. Melika was sponsored by the town of Willits.