FIRST UP AND THEN DOWN. - Oakland Tribune, 19 Jan 1891

From Wooljersey


The Hill Race of Three Members of the Acme Athletic Club.

Inspiration Point Reached From the Level Ground in 4:42, and the Round Trip Made in 7:08 1-4.

A better day than yesterday could not have been selected for the hill-climbing race of the Acme Athletic Club. The air was clear and crisp, the ground just damp enough from the early morning dew to keep the dust down, and the weather bright and alluring enough to attract a large crowd to the scene. The course was from the bridge at the end of Blair Park to the top of Inspiration Point and back again, the pole at the summit of the hill to be touched before the descent began.

The entries for the event were J. Kitchen, E. S. Dowdle, J. Scott, H. Maxwell, W. Smyth and O. L. Pickard, all of whom went into training three weeks ago, and were, therefore, as hard as nails by yesterday. Three o'clock was the time set for the start, and the men in the big crowd which assembled at the bridge, and, in fact, all up the hill, amused themselves by betting what time would be made. Considerable sums were wagered one way and the other, odds of fifteen to ten being first laid that the round trip would be made in fifteen minutes, then even money that it would be made in ten minutes, and, finally, eight to ten that eight minutes would be beaten. Kitchen was the favorite in the betting, with Scott as second choice.

At 3:10 the men were at the starting point, and the following officials were announced and took up their positions: Referee, J. Scotchler; timers, De Witt Van Court, F. W. Sharpe, M. Schleuter; lower judges, J. Hanifin, J. Rooney; middle judge, George Neece; top judge, L. G. Wolf. At 3:15 the word "Go" was given, and the men went off to an even start, Pickard taking the lead as the incline was reached, with Kitchen close up, and the others well bunched. The runners kept on the winding track for 100 yards or so and then took to the side of the fence, where the climb is the steepest but the road is the shortest. They settled down into a brisk walk as they went up the rocky hillside, Kitchen getting a lead for a little while, but soon losing it to Pickard, who led at the half-ascent, the three-quarters and finally at the summit. He reached the top on a run, and touched the pole in four minutes and forty-two seconds from the time of leaving the bridge, Scott touching it second about eighteen seconds later. Then came the race down hill. The men bounded like antelopes, working up to a speed that appeared very dangerous, a couple of them getting tumbles in fact as they come flying down. It was a fine finish, but Pickard had it well in hand and he crossed the line with his pace-maker in 7:08 1/4, with Scott second in 7:18 1/2, the others straggling in at all times. The winner was warmly congratulated for the excellent record he had made and received a handsome gold medal suitably inscribed. The second man, Scott, was also presented with a trophy, receiving a silver medal engraved with a view of the hill traversed.

The distance up and down the hill has not been measured, but is believed to be about 1 1/4 miles.