The Running Ape

Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Category archives for The Running Ape

Defar Breaks 5000m Indoor Record

Meseret Defar of Ethiopia ran 14:24.37 in Stockholm to break the women’s 5000 meter indoor mark, lowering it by over 3 seconds. It is worth noting that this formidable run was performed on a track well short of the 200 meter indoor “standard” found in many colleges and universities, and thus displays tighter corners. Details…

Sub Two Hour Marathon, EVER?

A very interesting read in the Guardian today regarding the possibility of humans ever running a sub two hour marathon. This speculation always crops up when the marathon record is broken, most recently by the venerable Haile Gebrselassie who last week brought the mark down to 2:03:59. The discussion always divides into the “No, never!”…

The Amazing Geb

Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia just broke his own world marathon best at Berlin this morning by being the first human being ever to traverse the 26.2 mile race distance in under 2 hours 4 minutes. Geb clocked 2:03:59 chopping nearly half of a minute off of his old record. This works out to 4:43.7 per…

Maybe Running Far and Fast IS Genetic

So Greg has made it clear that he doesn’t think that there’s any genetic basis for why some groups of people are able run very far, very fast. At the core of this are so-called “racial traits”. Any casual observer of the Olympics will note the dominance of people with dark skin in distance running…

Heat+Distance=Record?

It is well documented that as the temperature around an endurance athlete increases, performance decreases. And while one can train for and adapt to warm race conditions to mitigate that decrease, the effect remains. But at the highest levels of competition, control of the mind may make all the difference. Given the conditions, conventional wisdom…

Sex and the Olympic Village

A very entertaining article in The Times today regarding Olympians and sex. The author, former Olympian Matthew Syed, discusses just what goes on behind closed doors (and sometimes on rooftops) at the Olympic village. He offers the usual bag of “reasons why” (testosterone, being away from home, etc.) but it’s presented in a light and…

Amazing Women’s 10,000 Meters

Spoiler alert: If you don’t want to know anything about the Olympic Women’s 10,000 meter final just yet, stop now.

TechnOlympics

It has been said that the Olympics is rather like a genetic freak-show: All of the extreme outliers from the population show up and do their thing. While specific “genetic gifts” are pretty much required to reach the top of most any sport these days, a little technology can certainly assist in the process. This…

Boilermaker Observations

The 31st Utica Boilermaker 15 road race went off this morning, almost without a hitch. Rain arrived about an hour before the 8 AM start but cleared out before the wheelchairs took off at 7:45. The streets were left wet and the air humid. Combined with a low 70’s start temp, these were not ideal…

A Running Demographic

A recent article in the Utica, NY Observer-Dispatch (sorry, no link) took a look at the changing demographics of the Boilermaker 15k with the assistance of the race’s former timer. Here’s a quick run-down: In 1985, the average age was 33.5 for men and 30.3 for women. There was a steady increase until 2002 when…