Random Runner Trivia and Tidbits

When I was running outside yesterday a bug flew into my mouth. This certainly wasn’t the first time that has happened and I began to wonder just how many bugs I’ve swallowed while running. Later that evening, I googled “how many bugs do runners eat while running” and similar things like that but the only thing I could find is how many insects the average person eats. Here’s a story from Reader’s Digest:  Yuck! Here’s How Many Insects You’re Eating Every Year. Coupled with this bit of information, it seems like runners must consume even more insects than the average person but who knows just how many that is.

Then I started wondering about other strange or interesting things about runners, running, and races. When I ran the Famous Potato Half Marathon in Boise Idaho in May 2018 there was a guy trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by running the race while balancing a pool cue on one finger. I looked up the record for longest duration balancing a pool cue on one finger (not while running) and interestingly enough, it is held by David Rush from Boise, Idaho, for 4 hours, 20 minutes at Boise High School track in 2017. While I don’t know for sure if it was the same guy that ran the half marathon when I did, the coincidences are too great for it to not be him.

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Balancing a pool cue on one finger while running the Famous Potato Half Marathon in Boise, Idaho

I started looking up all kinds of other random running- and race-related information. Here’s some of what I found:

Oldest road race in the world– Guinness Book of World Records says that title goes to Red Hose 5 Mile Race in Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, UK in 1508 but Chicago Athlete Magazine says the first race in history was the Palio del Drappo Verde 10K in April 1208 held in Verona, Italy.

Oldest road race in the United States– YMCA Turkey Trot 8k in Buffalo, New York began in 1896 with just six runners. It’s still going strong.

Most money raised by a marathon runner– Steve Chalke from London raised £2,330,159.38 ($3,795,581.14) for Oasis UK by completing the Virgin London Marathon, London, UK, on April 17, 2011.

Most runners in an ultramarathon– 14,343 runners completed Comrades Marathon, which is an event organised by the Comrades Marathon Association (South Africa), and was run on a route from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, South Africa, on May 30, 2010. The distance of the ultramarathon was 89.28 km.

It’s incredible how many different Guinness World Records there are that relate to people dressed on costume while running a race; here are just a couple of examples. There’s the fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun (male)- Adam Jones who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in London, UK, on April 26, 2015 in 2:59:30. The fastest marathon dressed as a book character (female) is 3 hr 08 min 34 sec and was achieved by Naomi Flanagan, dressed as Tinkerbell, at the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon, in London, UK, on  April 24, 2016.

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There were a lot of runners in costume when I ran the Superhero Half Marathon in New Jersey

Highest elevation in a US race– Pikes Peak Ascent starts at 6,300 feet and takes you climbing for the next 13.32 miles to reach the apex of Pikes Peak at 14,115 feet. Most people finish in around the time it would take them to run a marathon plus another 30 minutes.

The majority of runners of US road races continued to be women in 2017, according to Running USA. Around 59 percent of participants in a given road race are female, while 41 percent are male.

The most popular race distance in the United States is the 5k, followed by the half marathon. 49% of all race finishers in the nation run the 5k, while the half-marathon has approximately 11% of the finishers.

Paula Radcliff still holds the women’s marathon record of 2:15:23 from the 2003 London Marathon. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record for men of 2:01:39 on September 16, 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. Kipchoge also ran the fastest ever marathon with a 2:00:25 clocking at the Nike Breaking2 race in Monza, Italy on May 6, 2017, but the IAAF says “times achieved in the race may not be eligible for official world record ratification should an application be made.”

45 degrees F is the optimal race day temperature based on scientific testing of how the body reacts to different temps.

Do you all like reading interesting running and racing information like I do? Do any of these surprise you? I was surprised to see that the oldest road race in the US is an 8k in Buffalo, New York and it goes all the way back to 1896! Do you have a running or racing trivia tidbit you like to throw around?

Happy running!

Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

16 thoughts on “Random Runner Trivia and Tidbits”

    1. I was most surprised by that too, both that it goes back to the 1800’s and that it’s an 8k (4.97 miles). The race probably was started by immigrants from Europe so that’s why it was in kilometers, or at least that’s my best guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Neat! Also I have always been a Guinness Record nerd and may have started applying to see if I can get one of those fastest halves in costumes recently lol. Younger Sam would FLIP if she found out she actually held a record in the future so I have to at least give it a shot!

    Liked by 1 person

          1. The husband did an Ironman in Coeur d’Alene several years ago (I don’t think that particular Ironman exists anymore). You’re impression of Cd’A is spot on. It was a great little town – beautiful as you say, and also a nice little downtown. Very friendly locals. Also, I used to live in Missoula. Nice town also.

            Fun post. I haven’t got any trivia to share, but two thoughts. 1. The fact about 45 degrees being optimal temperature somehow makes me feel validated, since my favorite running temp is 50 degrees. 2. This post makes me wonder who the oldest marathoner to finish was, and what his or her age was. So it looks like I’ve given you some homework. 😉 I am a teacher after all. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I actually did come across the oldest marathon finisher recently. Just looked it up again to make sure I get his name right. Fauja Singh was the oldest male to finish a marathon, although depending on the source his age was either 101 or 102. Still, impressive!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t realize that the men’s marathon record time is only one minute faster than the women’s. Distance truly is the great equalizer.

    I’m quite sure there are races that date prior to 1208 AD, they’re just not documented. I bet even pre-humans were lining up and racing each other for fun, to see who was faster.

    Interesting stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s more than just one minute. The women’s record is 2:15 while the men’s is 2:01. Still, the longer distances are the equalizing field with men and women with the gap smallest at ultra marathons.

      Like

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