FROM MILROY: I have found another possible contender - Charles Walter Hart - better known as Charlie Hart. He was a professional runner who competed at the turn of the twentieth century in very long distance matches. For example in 1903 he contested the 15 Hours championships and also a professional London to Brighton. In addition he reputedly ran 2000 miles in 31 days (see below) In 1904 he ran from Southend to Glasgow and Edinburgh and return, having previously attempted a run from Southend to Colchester and return. (The Southend to Glasgow was a distance of 1019 miles which he covered in 16 days.) Alost certainly in 1904 he also ran abroad, running the 473 miles from Toulouse to Paris race in six and a half days. He reputedly ran a 100 miles in Shirley skating rink in London He also ran in several matches against men on horseback. He was also a early pioneer of sponsored running. He would run from one town to another for the purpose of advertising the products of a particular company.
He was a competitive ultrarunner - finishing third in 7:21:58 in the 1903 London to Brighton, running even pace to come through at the end. This gives a benchmark as to his abilities.
He was still active in 1928 when he entered the Pyle race across America. On one occasion that year he ran from Southampton to Bournemouth sponsored by a leomonade manufacturer., a distance of around 50 miles. When not running such events, he would work as a baker.
I found references to his 2000 mile run in 1903 in NZ newspapers. Otago Witness 18 Feb 1903 "On Wednesday, January 7, a man named C.W.Hart commenced at the St John's Hill Baths, Clapham Junction, the task of running 2000 miles in 31 days. Hart, who has been in training, has been heavily backed, and is confident of success."
Wanganui Herald 06 November 1903
THE ATHLETIC WORLD by "Victor" "On the 12th March C W Hart, the crack English long distance ped, succeeded, at St John's Hill Baths, Clapham Junction, in completing his stupendous task of covering 2000 miles in 31 days on foot. On starting the last day he had 1931 miles to his credit, and covering 69 miles in 13 hours 18 minutes, brought his record up to 2000 miles, with an hour and 40 minutes to spare, his running time being limited to 15 hours a day.".
Why NZL newspapers? Unlike British newspapers, the NZL ones are all online and searchable electronically. Those papers carried detailed reports of British races in this period.
Hart was still running at the age of 83 and a 20 mile run was recorded on film by British Pathe newsreels in 1947. On the newsreels it gives what is believed to be his life time mileage....
Hart had started in Athletics as a sprinter in an Amateur club, at age 19 in 1883, but as he grew older and his speed declined, he moved up in distance, half mile, mile, and then ten miles. He found even that too much of a sprint and moved in to ultra distance. Unfortunately he moved into such events when the heighday of 6 Day racing was finished - the high point being George Littlewood's 623 miles in 1888. There were mass participation ultra-long events in France, but although there would be prize money, there would have been no expenses. So Hart developed his expertise into a marketable skill in order to make a living to supplement his work as a baker.
By 1947 he had been running for 64 years...
Interesting to research the career of a professional runner - who became quite literally a journeyman runner. Whether you want to add him to your list of life time mileage runners ....