Given these people were often running as part of a bet, or a gamble, Peter Radford, a retired sports science professor and Olympic bronze medalist, contends their times, that were sometimes reported in news publications of the day, would have been quite accurately recorded, as relatively large sums of money were at stake.
But Radford argues that at the time of Parrott’s run, agricultural chains would have been able to measure the distance to within a few inches. And, by the late 18th Century, the best watches were extremely accurate. Even a watch that lost five seconds a day could still time a mile to within a second. Crucially, the culture of wagers gave everyone a strong financial incentive to get it right. “The two parties agreed that there hadn’t been any advantage taken by one side over the other,” Radford says. “It’s not like a diary entry where somebody said, ‘I did so and so’ and they could make up whatever they wanted.”
For a long time athletes strived to run a mile in less than four minutes, and finally, in 1954 Roger Bannister succeeded. Now marathon runners are eyeing up what is possibly a far more ambitious goal, to run a marathon in under two hours.
Running a marathon, being a distance of twenty-six point two miles, in a time of exactly two hours, or the merest fraction less than, would require covering a mile every four minutes and thirty-five seconds. I wonder who will be the first person to achieve this particular milestone?
Wilson also points out that there’s a huge difference between asking someone to strike a running pose, and asking someone to run. “The only thing your postural systems cares about is staying upright, maintaining balance,” he says. “Running is about dynamic balance; maintaining balance as your mass moves. This is why we run in a contralateral pose – that’s how you balance out all the various forces and preserve your upright posture. Posing as if running is static balance.” In other words, the body asked to pose and asked to run is acting on two very different requests.
Considering parts of the United States were once a British colony, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that there are one or two Americans who play cricket. What might be news though is the surge in popularity that the game is currently enjoying stateside:
Cricket’s profile is growing in the US thanks to the rising influence and size of the Indian (and to a lesser extent Caribbean) diaspora. It is an official high school sport in New York City. ESPN, which estimates that there are as many as 30 million cricket fans in the US, actually aired an Indian Premier League match on live television earlier this year. It regularly streams matches online and the audiences are solid.
The concept of hole in one insurance may baffle the uninitiated, but to many it is a wise precaution as golf tradition holds that anyone who scores a hole in one should buy drinks back at the clubhouse for his playing group – if not everyone present. In Japan, many give extravagant gifts to friends and family after scoring a lucky ace.
Northern Indian city Allahabad is home to the Well of Death, a circular arena like structure where the drivers of motorcycles and cars ride their vehicles on its (vertical) walls.
Motorbikes are one thing in the confined space, but then cars are added to the mix. But keep watching. Then the drivers, of both types of vehicle, go hands free. But wait, those aren’t the only tricks up their sleeves…
A glimpse into the thoughts going through the minds of cricketers after they have been dismissed – bowled, caught, stumped, run out, whatever – as they walk back to the pavilion… surprisingly their musing aren’t always self disparaging or belittling:
“What I said to myself helped me to stay positive, knowing that [my] game plan was a good one,” said one player about a recent dismissal. He was one of five players who participated in the research, all based at a county cricket club in England. Two of the others described how they called themselves names and criticised their own shot selection. A recurring theme throughout the study was for this kind of negativity to be followed by motivational self-talk.
We’re probably used to seeing runners and cyclists out and about on the streets of the cities where we live and work, but aside from a boot camp here and there, the sight of other athletes, such as weight lifters and gymnasts, in training, is likely pretty rare.