Lazy Running What The...???
Compared to other sports, like football, golf and tennis, running does not generate as huge an income or earnings. The top running earners are the marathoners, with most of their earnings coming from shoe sponsorship; after that comes clothing sponsorship, appearance fees and then prize money. All this combined, an elite world marathoner earns approx. $400,000 a year; a 5-10km elite world runner earns $250,000 a year and an elite world sprinter up to $400,000. These figures are very speculative, as the shoe companies do not divulge the costing of their sponsorships and often bonuses are added.
In distance running, the top male prize earner in the world is Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia, who over 50 wins has taken home $3,546,463. The second highest is Samuel Wanjiri with $1,886,000 and third place is another Ethiopian, Kenenisa Bekele, with $1,490, 620. Not surprisingly, the top 6 male earners are from East Africa, which is great for their families and villages which are often very poor communities.
Paula Radcliffe from Great Britain is the highest female prize money winner, with $2,236,415 won over 56 events. Kenyan Catherine Ndereba has won $1,791,684 and Russian Liliya Shobukhoua comes in third highest earner with $1,575,448.
However, prize earnings for the major marathons are growing rapidly, due to the popularity of marathons, increased entrants and lucrative sponsorships. The Dubai marathon is said to be the richest in the world; it offers $250,000 to the winners, $100,000 for second place and third placed runners win $50,000. But how’s this for an incentive to run a bit faster: they offer a bonus one million dollars if the race record gets broken!
Sex Improves Running
Unlike other sports running seems to have its own rules when it comes to what benefits or harms performance. Great news runners, you can have sex the night before an event and still run well, in fact better!
A study on 35 elite runners asked them who close to race day do they have sex, 70% said the night before, 20% said the morning of the race, and 10% said they would have sex 10 minutes before race start…and here is me lining up at the porta a loos while all the action is going on!
Tests on female athlete’s show that women perform better after orgasm, the sports that they perform better in is running and high jump!
The Fattest Marathoner!
Kelly Gneiting has made it into the Guiness Book of World records for being the heaviest person to complete a marathon, it was the Los Angeles marathon in March 2011. He finished the event in 9:48:52, taking 2 hours off his own previous record of 11:52:11.
Kelly weighs in at 430pound (195kilos), he is 6 foot tall and has a 5 foot waistband!
Not suprising to know that Kelly is a 3 time national Sumo wrestling champion, and he claims to be able to eat 8 big macs in one sitting.
When asked at the end of the race how he felt about his marathon run, he replied 'it was pure hell'
Stefaan Engels from Belgium has been dubbed marathon man, as he has made it into the World Record books for running the most consecutive marathons, he ran 365 marathons over 365 days, smashing the previous record of 50 marathons in 50 days. He ran a total of 9,569 miles (15,400km), starting marathon one in Barcelona and completing a race a day across seven countries. He claimed the did it at a slower pace, his best time was 2:56 (slow!!) but over all the average was 10km per hour pace. He never walked on any of them, and when asked why he did it (yes, why???) he claimed it was to inspire others to get off the couch and get active. He also said the mental side was the hardest, but he looked at it like a job, he would get up get ready, go to work and run a marathon...every day!
The Fastest Mile
Although the one mile distance is the only non metric distance recognized by the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) as a world record event, it still stands as an iconic and popular distance in running.
The first known recorded time for the mile race was back in in 1855 when Charles Westford, a Londoner ran the mile (1.6km) in 4 minutes, 28 seconds
However, world athletics records didn't officially start until 1913 by the IAAF, which showed the fastest man over the mile was American John Paul Jones who ran it in 14:14 04 in May of that year.
Since then 32 records have been set over the mile distance.
It took 41 years to reduce it by just over 14 seconds, when the famous Roger Bannister, clocked it under 4 minutes. He broke this hallowed record on the 6th may 1954.
46 days later John Landy, an aussie, broke it again with an amazing run of 3 minutes 58 seconds recorded in Turku. Four years later in 1958 another great Aussie runner Herb Elliot smashed it again by running the mile in Dublin in 3 :54:5, he cut 2.7 seconds off the last fastest time, which is the biggest record break margin ever witnessed in the IAAF era.
John Walker of New Zealand got it to under 3:50 when he ran 3:49:4, and then the reign of Sebastian Coe and Steve ovett started in July 1979. With Coe breaking it 3 times over 11 years and Ovett breaking it twice in 1980 and 1981
The standing record as of today is held by Morrocan Hicham el Guerrouj, he ran it in 3:43:13 in 1999 in Rome
Unfortunately women's records have not be recognised or even noted over the years. Women's running was frowned upon, and even though many women ran and did some great times, it was never looked on in the same respect as men's distance running. When Roger Bannister broke the 4 min mile record in 1954, 23 days later Diane Leather of Great Britain broke the sub 5 min mile record. IAAF didn't start recording women's world records until 1967 when Ann Rosemary Smith, also of Great Britain ran the mile in 4:37. Since then there have been 12 record breakers in the women's mile, and it now stands at 4:12:56, Russia's Svetlana Masterkova set it in 1996 in Zurich
I mentioned on the last Crazy running short about humans not being so fast when caparisons are made to other animals, but what we do lose in speed we make up in endurance.
Humans are the only animals who willingly opt to run distances of 42.2km. The two other animals who are renown for endurance, horses and dogs, will do it, if forced! I know, maybe that says more about our minds than our bodies, but in reality humans handle it better.
We are far better at running in heat and dealing with the heat.
There are three reasons for this, we are hairless, we sweat all over and we breathe through our mouths, these are very effective ways to cool the body. However, Most of our animal friends can only cool themselves by panting and when running over long distances they run out of puff. Most animals can only run for about 15km before they drop of heat stroke, humans can run a lot further. So back in the bad old days of chasing our prey, we just had to run, keep our prey in our sights and then when the heat hit, we moved in for the kill.
The mystery now is why we chose to run 42km when we are not chasing prey!! Maybe because we can!
Even Usain is slow in animal world!
The great Usain Bolt has captivated the world with his speed over the 100 metres, smashing records and generating the question...How much faster can a human run?
It is true; we keep getting faster, as the top runners continue to smash records, but how much more can be done? From 1936 when Jesse Owens broke the 100metre dash record, he ran at 21.7 miles per hour, Usain Bolt now clocks a speed of nearly 28 miles per hour when he does the same distance.
Scientists believe that there is no reason why man cannot run at speed of 35 to 40 miles an hour, they think that is possible for a human. However, in the whole scheme of speed by animals we are pretty pathetic, if our fastest human (Usain) lined up in a race against the top fastest 50 animals in the world the human would be placed 28th, just a nose in front of the elephant! Gold goes to the Cheetah.
We can blame our ape rellies for the setback, big feet and strong leg muscles, the long gangly arms, are great for swinging around the trees and scratching our heads and bums, but not so good for speed. If we could recruit ostrich like legs, smaller feet, high up ankles and short strong thigh muscles we could reach speeds of 45 miles an hour like they do...I think I will leave that problem up to Usain’s coaches!
Injury Stats for Marathons
No doubt like me, when you have run in an event you have seen some poor bugger collapsed and getting help from first aid officers or race marshalls, its a bit scary and I usually just keep running and pray that is not me a bit further up the road! I have run 10 marathons, an ultra marathon and too many to count half marathons and I have never asked for aid or assistance during or after an event, dont worry I would if I needed to, but I just havent. However, the stats show that an average of 1 in 6 runners ask or recieve some type of aid in a big running event.
You may be interested to know the actual injury stats and God forbid deaths in a big race.
The London Marathon is the biggest marathon in the world and started back in 1981 with 6,500 finishers, now there are over 35,000 finishers
St John's ambulance have 1000 volunteers over 40 aid stations at the London Marathon
They categorise any incidents or aid given into four categories
1.Social Contacts- people who stop and ask for a drink, shoelace tie up or dressing, 2% of runners
2.Muscoskeletal contacts- runners with cramps, muscle, bone or joint pain 79% of runners
3.Topical Contacts- blisters, chaffing, nipple bleeds, black toenails etc 15% of runners
4.Constitutional Contacts- fainting, heart pains, collapse, fitting etc 4% of runners
A marathon death is classed as a death during the race or in the finish area, so far there have been 7 cardiac (heart related deaths) and 5 cardiac resusitations, in 2000 a man collapsed and died the next day in hospital of a brain haemorrhage
The overall mortality rate for the London marathon in the past 30 years is 1 in 67,000 runners
Overall contact is 1 in 6 runners who needed some form of aid help
Contact with a hospital or emergency department is 1 in 800 runners
Hospital admission is 1 in 10,000 runners
Generally running is still considered a safe sport compared to other activities!
Let's all move to The Rift Valley!
Of the fastest 100 marathons ever run, 58 of those winners came from the Rift Valley region of East Africa. The 2:07 marathon time was broken in 1988 by an Ethiopian, and since then the record has tumbled over 33 times, with runners from the Rift Valley, holding 25 of those records.
Since 1988 Rift Valley male runners have won the Boston marathon 22 times! With last years being the fastest ever when Kenyan Geoffery Moutai won it in 2:03:02. And its not just the boys, since 1997, female runners from the Rift Valley have won it 13 times. Over the last straight 9 years Rift Valley men have won the London marathon
"Why are these guys and girls so fast?' you ask, how can such a small, underdeveloped area produce world class runners? Many say its the high altitude training, but there are nations in higher altitudes that dont produce such talent; many say its a brilliant running gene pool...however, this quote from a famous Kenyan runner, Lornah Kiplagat probably best descibes it...'In Kenya we run for transportation and we eat fresh food that we have grown ourselves. We live at altitude, we want to win, and we are very, very tough'
If you have ever heard of a saying 'Pulling a Rosie' in running it comes from the infamous runner Rosie Ruiz.
In 1979, Rosie got a bit tired in the New York Marathon, so she jumped on the subway, got off near the finish and came in under 10th place! She proudly accepted the placing which got her an entry into the Boston marathon 5 months later, there she went one better with her cheating. She waited one mile from the finish line with the spectators, jumped in just in fromt of the female leader and proudly accepted the glory and the famous laurel wreath. A week later after an investigation, she was stripped of the win which was rightly awarded to Canadian runner Jacqueline Gareau.
Jan 2012- Marathon Man-A man named Richard Donavan made history in 2009 and became the first person to run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. He was also the first person to run a marathon on both poles.
The North Pole marathon consists of 10 laps around the top of the world!
Dec 2011-One Tough Cookie- Catherine Switzer was the first woman to run an official marathon, the Boston Marathon in 1967. Women were not allowed to enter marathons, so she put on her entry K.V. Switzer and nearly go away with it until mile 2 when a race official grabbed her and tried to pull off her race number, a scuffle ensued that was caught on camera and the rest is history! She played a large part in helping the womens marathon be included in the Olympics. Thanks to Catherine's tenacity, now women make up 53% of race participants, and 43% of marathon finishers are women.
Nov 2011-Hows the 100 year old marathon runner...his latest race was the Toronto marathon, he finished in 8hours, 25mins...he beat 5 other runners home! Brit Fauja Singh only took up running 11 years ago after his wife and son died....so if you haven't run the big 42.2 yet, don't worry you have plenty of time left!
Nov 2011-Crazy Mother!! A woman who ran the Chicago marathon a couple of months ago, gave birth two hours after she finished. She was 39 weeks pregnant and her doctor gave her the all clear to go for it!! She ran walk for 6 hours and 25mins. She felt contractions on the run, but just thought they were normal running pains. Not only did she complete it, she also beat her husband across the line, I'm sure he will never live that one down!