Trivia Time: 25 Fun Running Facts

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For runners like us, geeking out on statistics is almost a form of cross-training: we track our mileage with GPS watches, log our training details and carefully plan to reach our next PR. So when a rest day rolls around, what do we do? We hit up our old friend Google to find some fun running stats. C’mon, did you really think we’d waste a day on something unrelated to running?

  1. The average men’s finishing time in U.S. marathons is 4:26.
  2. The average women’s finishing time in U.S. marathons is 4:52.
  3. 57% of runners purchase at least two pairs of running shoes each year.
  4. Four-time Boston Marathon winner Bill Rodgers’ favorite pizza topping is mayonnaise. Yep, mayo.
  5. In 1990, only 25% of road race finishers in the US were women. Now the ladies make up more than half of road race finishers in the US.
  6. Speaking of ladies and gents: many studies show that couples who run together also do…um… other things together more frequently as well. We’ll leave it up to you to guess the activity.
  7. If that fun fact doesn’t light your fire, how about this one: your feet can produce a pint of sweat each day.
  8. Speaking of bodily fluids, when we run, our hearts create enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet.
  9. The first New York City Marathon was held in 1970, when 127 runners paid one dollar each to run a few loops through Central Park. Fewer than half of the entrants finished.
  10. You can store about 2,000 calories’ worth of glycogen in your body to fuel your running. But it’s important to replenish your stores, so chow down on the carbs post-run.
  11. Fauja Singh is the oldest person to ever complete a full marathon, finishing the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2011 at the age of 100. So no, you’re probably not ‘too old to run.’
  12. On the other end of the spectrum, the world’s youngest marathoner is Budhia Singh, who has completed a staggering 48 marathons before turning 5. Bet he’s a hit on the playground.
  13. Will Ferrell ran the ’03 Boston Marathon in 3:56:12. We don’t know how to put this…he’s kind of a big deal.
  14. The world record for a mile by a race horse is 1:32.1. Hay! That’s fast.
  15. The cheetah is considered the fastest land animal. It can achieve speeds upwards of 70 miles per hour. The garden snail is considered the slowest land animal with a speed of only .03 miles per hour.
  16. Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4:00 mile, but an exact 4:00.00 was first achieved over 4 years later on September 3, 1958 by England’s Derek Ibbotson in a 4th place finish behind Herb Elliott at White City. That’s a whole lot of 4’s!
  17. Over 1 billion pairs of running shoes are sold worldwide every year.
  18. When running the 100 meters, Usain Bolt hits a maximum power output of 2619.5 watts, or about 3.5 horsepower. Just enough to blend yourself a nice, cold margarita.
  19. During a 90 minute soccer match, elite-level players will often run 7 miles or more, depending on position.
  20. Kara Goucher’s favorite indulgence according to Kara Goucher is “blond brownies as big as my face.” Okay, Kara Goucher.
  21. Steve Prefontaine never won an Olympic medal.
  22. Also Pre-lated: Blue Ribbon Sports, known today as Nike, was founded on Prefontaine’s birthday, January 25th.
  23. Justin Timberlake would approve of this one: The world record for the fastest marathon while wearing a suit and tie goes to Adam Campbell who ran a 2:35 is 2012. No word on whether running apparel manufacturers have any plans to produce high performance running suits as of now.
  24. Think running in a suit is weird? A certain Vinny O’neill has earned himself a reputation for running marathons in a full on rhinoceros costume. His fastest while donning the horns: 4:17:27.
  25. And for the single most coveted running-related world record: one Josh Harris’ 5:04 beer mile, completed with four bottles of Cooper’s, including one with a stubborn cap.

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