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Walk a League Contest!

From the very beginning of my experience with Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, units of measurement have played a critical role. In fact, one can’t approach the novel without running up against a measurement, because there are twenty thousand of them in the title itself. But just what is a league, anyway? The average reader is probably somewhat unfamiliar with that unit of measurement. But it seems there is a discrepancy even among the more learnéd, and one need not poke around too long before discovering an array of differing definitions. (One table at the beginning of 20,000 Leagues actually attempts to standardize a number of measurements, one of those being a league, in order to square the various facts and calculations which were notoriously mangled when Verne’s works were translated into English from his native French.) My favorite defintion, though, has to be this one, from Wikipedia of all places:

The league most frequently refers to the distance a person or a horse can walk in an hour.”

A person or a horse?! Surely the distance a horse can walk in an hour is different from the distance a man could walk in the same amount of time. And even if it’s not, given the differences in people’s strides and natural land speed, surely the distance walked by any two individual men in an hour would be wildly different.

20KLUTS print

"20K Leagues Under the Sea," or 20KLUTS print

Naturally, I’m curious to know just how similar the distances might be for various individuals (I’m thinking people, here, not horses) walking non-stop for an hour. But I would need volunteers, and hence was born the Walk a League Contest. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to grab a pedometer and hit the streets. Set aside an hour, and go walking. Not 59 minutes, not an hour and change, but exactly an hour. No stopping, no lollygagging, no idle chit-chat with neighbors unless they can talk and walk with you.

The first person to report back to me (by leaving a comment on this post with the distance they travelled on foot in 1 hour) will win a limited edition signed print of the “20K Leagued Under the Sea” book cover I designed completely free of charge, shipping included! (19 more of you will be able to purchase a print for the low, low price of $10 + $3 shipping anywhere in the US.) To the fine print!

THEM’S THE RULES:

To enter, you will need:

  • a device (or methodology) to reliably gauge distance walked
  • a device (or methodology) for reliably measuring time
  • one (1) hour to spare

For ONE (1) HOUR (excluding any set-up or walking downstairs to get outside or whatever) walk at a normal, comfortable, and sustainable pace while using your distance-gauging device or methodology to keep track of how far you go in that hour. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch or something like that, there are pedometer apps you can download (I will personally be using GoPedometer on my iPhone).

The idea is not to stop. This is a challenge if, like me, you live in an urban area and may confront cross walks or other obstacles to pedestrianism. Although I may look a bit insane, I plan on coping with this by making an about-face and continuing to walk in the opposite direction whenever confronted by a “don’t walk” sign. Or, by turning a corner where applicable — but be safe! I wouldn’t want anyone ending up in a sketchy area just because they were trying to maintain a continuous walk.

Once you have completed this task, navigate to this blog and click on the comments feature associated with THIS post to share your results with me. (IMPORTANT: just to maintain some sense of consistency, results left in the comments of other posts on this blog will be considered invalid, so follow directions!)

Exactly ONE (1) WEEK from the official date of this post (Pacific time-zone), this contest will be CLOSED. But that gives you the rest of this week and all weekend to get out and walk for an hour and report back to me. Your results comment MUST be received before the official closing time of this contest in order to be valid.

THE PRIZE:

The first person to validly report their results will win an 8″x10″ fine art print of “20K Leagues Under the Sea,” the digital artwork I made as a theoretical dust jacket for Jules Verne’s novel. (You may remember I made two different versions, and asked readers to vote on their favorite; this print is of the winning design.)

20KLUTS print, with certificate of authenticity

"20K Leagues Under the Sea" print, shown with certificate of authenticity

This is a limited edition print, representing the cover and spine artwork. It’s printed on luxurious Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth paper (305 gsm) with 6-color process archival ink. Each print is hand-numbered and signed by me (the artist) and comes with a certificate of authenticity, which also indicates the edition number.

There are only 20 of these bad-boys, as I’m not sure what kind of demand for them there will be. If I sell them out, I’ll most likely offer the next cover artwork as a larger edition. One of these 20 prints is obviously going to be the prize for whomever wins the contest. The remaining 19 will be available for purchase from my newly minted StBernART store, my own personal e-storefront made possible by Vendr.com. To visit the store, simply go to my personal website, StBernardsPass.com, and look for the fairly obvious red tab at the top of the page that says “Store.”

The St.BernART store at St. Bernard's Pass

If I have any prints from this edition that don’t sell at StBernART, I will make them available on Etsy, but they will probably cost a little bit more than $10, just to cover the percentage of the sale that Etsy collects. So if you’re interested, lock down a print from StBernART today!

Now, go walk a league!

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