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Felix Ernest Walter Furlonger



Born 1881, Dublin, Ireland.
Died 1958, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Winner of the 1907 Ireland's Saturday Night,
Belfast to Lurgan "Go-As-You-Please"


"THE WINNER INTERVIEWED"

"F. W. Furlonger, who accomplished such a remarkable performance by completing the distance of 26 1/2 miles 190 yards in the time of 3hrs 8min 21-5secs, is also the winner of the sealed handicap. He also secures quite a collection of special prizes, including that for the first past Messrs. Duncan's establishment in Lisburn; first past Stanfield's Hotel in Hillsborough; first man at Waringstown; Mr. Richardson's prize for the first man to leave his name and address on arrival at Lurgan; and Mr. Byrne's prize for the first man to leave his name and address at Messrs. Byrne's, Lurgan. He thus picks up in a day a more handsome and certainly more valuable collection of prizes than is acquired in a whole season by men who confine their attention to athletic meetings."



"Furlonger called at our offices this morning at our request to be photographed, and exhibited not the least signs of having just emerged from so severe a test of pluck, speed, and endurance. He stated that he felt no effects whatever save for a slight stiffness at the knees, and could go over the course again if necessary. Furlonger has had, comparatively speaking, very little of an athletic career, but he is the typical athlete down to the very toe nails, clean and strong of limb, with that combination of litheness and strength that make for speed and endurance. He will not be 26 years of age until August, and, curious to relate, he was first induced to take an active interest in athletics as a result of the Ballymena Walk. Furlonger is a butcher's assistant, and the Belfast butchers, shortly after the Ballymena Walk, promoted a walk to Whitehead, which was won on the handicap by a brother of Furlonger's. Furlonger himself accomplishing a fine performance. Next year he went one better by winning outright . He also competed in the event on a third occasion, but was beaten by the handicap. In the present season he took to running, and competed in a half mile novice handicap, but was unplaced. He set himself seriously to the task of preparation for the "Go-as-you-Please" contest, and trained with great care."

"CONFIDENCE JUSTIFIED BY RESULTS"

"He started on the race with conviction that the man who would beat him would have to get through inside three hours, and actually took pains to provide himself in advance with information as to the places at which he must leave his name and address in Lurgan on arrival, so as to become entitled to these special prizes. Furlonger ran under the auspices of the Willowfield Club, and incidentally conferred upon it the distinction of supplying the first man home. Starting as a club competitor from the back rows, Furlonger was a good deal embarrassed in working his way through the 400 competitors in front, who were naturally packed together in consequence of the crowd pressing in."



"It was Balmoral before he managed to get through, and he thus lost several minutes. In addition to this, the fearful showers en route and the heavy going caused thereby make the performance a much better one than appears on the surface, and had the day proved suitable Furlonger would certainly have got home inside three hours. As it is, the distance works out at something near 8 1/2 miles per hour."



"Lisburn was reached by the leader in less than 50 minutes. In one hour and 19 minutes he was at the Market House in Hillsborough , and 37 minutes later Dromore was left behind. Furlonger never faltered for a moment in his stride from the moment he left the variety market in Belfast until he reached the fountain in Lurgan, he did not even take a breather up the great hill in Hillsborough."

An Ireland's Saturday Night newspaper article written in 1958