Pogo Stick Marathon – Morocco

This excerpt is from Sports the Olympics Forgot

The modern pogo stick was invented just after World War I, although there is some debate as to whether it was first created in America or Germany. The German inventors were Hans Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall and the first two letters of their surnames do make the word POGO. A German patent was registered in Hanover in March 1920.

Pogo stick racing has been gaining in popularity in recent years, but the longest race for pogo stick competitors was started in 1970 by a group of backpackers in Essaouira in Morocco. They started pogo sticking along the Atlantic coast in the late 1960s and even tried reaching Marrakech but the wear and tear on their sticks was too great. In April 1969, one of the backpackers Kevin Duffner of Great Britain pogo sticked all the way to Ounagha, a distance of around 25 kilometres, without stopping, other than for a drinks break

The pogo stickers sent out word that the first world championship of pogo stick racing would take place on April 6th, 1970 from Ounagha, down to the coast at Essaouira. Around 200 competitors duly arrived for the event and were transported to the start of the race in camper vans. At 7am the starter shouted “Yeah, you can start now, if you want” and the contestants headed towards the coast at a speed of roughly 2.5 miles per hour.

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