The Great Running Traditions of the Basques By Andy Milroy

Came across this interesting article by Andy Milroy

Basque Running Footmen

The earliest recorded reference to Basque runners comes from the early 16th century. At this time, at least in England and France, and it seems in Spain, it was common for aristocrats to employ runners on foot to carry messages or run beside their coaches. In France this post was usually filled by Basque runners, which gave rise to the proverb “To run like a Basque.”

From the early 16th century at least, Basques were already in service as distance runners. In Rabelais Grand-gousier sends “the Basque, his lackey, to seek Gargantua in all haste.” An author at the end of the 16th century says “From the country of Bearn, come lackeys the best fitted for running that one could wish.”

Read the whole article at Buber’s Basque Page

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