Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.


The winner of the first race was Herbie Jones from Adelaide in Australia in a time of 5 hours and 49 minutes; he was one of only eighteen finishers as most people found the physical effort too much and decided to walk to Essaouira instead. Jones was surprised to win: “Yeah, for sure it was a surprise, especially as I didn’t practice that much, but I am a fit guy – I run marathons and halfs – so I have the endurance and this isn’t as tough on your legs as running, but the jarring on your back can be bad, so I think between now and next year’s race I will be doing some core work to make me stronger.”

After this first race, the organisers decided to introduce a rule that people couldn’t get off their stick and either walk or run a certain distance before getting back on their stick. From 1971 onwards, anyone who started to walk or run had their stick confiscated and took no further part in the race.