"American songwriter Stephen Foster was born July 4, 1826 in western PA. He published the song "Gwine to Run All Night" (now better known as "Camptown Races") in 1850 while living in the Towanda/Athens area, close to Camptown which is located in northeast Pennsylvania. Camptown refers to the "towns" that transient workers set up around railroad tracks, hopping on trains to get from job-to-job and town-to-town.
The song lyrics tell the story of the transient workers, who gambled on horses to try to make some money. In the lyrics the horse race is "5 miles long", which may refer to the distance "the bob-tailed nag and bay horse" ran from Camptown to the nearby town of Wyalusing. A current day Camptown Race is a bit longer, almost 10 kilometers, run by an adventurous group of men and women of all ages."
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