Running vs. Climbing Thoughts…
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May 18, 2010 at 7:53 am #1259078W I S N E R !Spectator
Just thought I'd share some interesting running news in light of Nick's son's recent race wins. These stats trip me out:
I know it's apples to oranges, but an interesting comparison nonetheless.
The 31st person has broken the 27 minute mark for a 10K. Chris Solinsky (American) is the first non-African in history to do this. He's also the heaviest person to do it, something like nearly 40 pounds bigger than the average.
Crazy! Only 31 humans have ever run a 10K this fast…out of all the people that run 10Ks all over the world every year.
Let's compare that to Mount Everest:
it has something like ~2000 ascents to-date.
K2: ~200 ascents to-date.
Now I don't know of many people that die running 10Ks, but still, in terms of sheer physical difficulty…May 18, 2010 at 9:24 am #1610875Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
If you are interested in distance running, Solinsky's race is a must see.
American distance running has fallen off the world scene over the past 40 years, mostly dominated by African runners. During the past 4 years, American Galen Rupp has been the American hope. Coached by former marathon great Alberto Salazar, and banked by the money of Nike, Rupp has the best training support of any runner in the world.
This race had a lot media hype, and Rupp was juggling schedules to find the best race opportunity to break the American record. And the Payton Jordan Invitational, was the perfect set-up for him to do it. Race fans flocked to Stanford to watch Rupp's attempt at the 10K record. And Rupp did break the American record with a clocking of 27:10. But Solinsky ran 11 seconds faster, to become the new American record holder. In the same race, Sam Chelanga, of Liberty University broke the US Collegiate record with a 27:08, and Sam Bairu broke the Canadian record. Quite a race!!
Solinsky race a perfect race, forcing Rupp to do most of the work by setting the pace. With about 800 meters to go Solinsky smokes the field. Here is a great article:
I would venture to guess there are many more people in the world who run, versus the number of mounataineers. So, yes I think a sub 27 1OK is more elite than climbing Everest. A sub 27 requires God given talent and years of dedication. Climbing Everest requires money and skill. Most of us could climb Everest if we had the time to prepare, learn the skills, and the money to do it. Most of us could never run a sub 27.
Last thoughts… you have to love Chris Solinsky. No one even thought he could do it, except him.
Craig, thanks for the comparison.May 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm #1611015AnonymousInactive
"I would venture to guess there are many more people in the world who run, versus the number of mounataineers. So, yes I think a sub 27 1OK is more elite than climbing Everest. A sub 27 requires God given talent and years of dedication."
Agreed, but I think this is perhaps not the best comparison to be making. How about sub 27 10K vs 5.14, and now 5.15 I believe, rock climbing?
Or ascents of all 14 8,000 meter peaks without oxygen? That takes a certain amount of god given talent and years of dedication, too. I was heavily into competitive running in my early 40's, so I'm not trying to knock running here, but I also have a very healthy respect for what it takes to climb at elite levels, both rock and high altitude. The very best in both fields are possessed of both god given talent and dedication in equal measure, IMO. And, as Craig observed, nobody ever died running an elite level 10K. The same cannot be said of elite level climbing. My 2 cents.May 18, 2010 at 5:38 pm #1611030Dirk RabdauMember
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
…as fast as their average lap time over the entire 10K.
I think that's what is so impressive about all distance runners. People watch an event like the Boston marathon and think, "I could keep up with that guy (or gal) for a mile." No way, most people couldn't. They are really moving.
I always thought track (or swimming)would be much more interesting if you put an good club runner (or swimmer) in lane 8 to let people gain some perspective on just how fast Usain Bolt is in the 100. Or how good these distance runners are. Edwin Moses in the 400 hurdles didn't lose a race in nearly 10 years, recording 122 consecutive wins.May 18, 2010 at 5:46 pm #1611035Bob GrossBPL Member
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Years ago, there was a Summer Olympics competition, and an inexperienced reporter was sent to interview one of the star English marathon runners. The reporter really didn't know what to ask.
The reporter asked a couple of general questions like "How long have you been doing this?"
Then the reporter asked "How fast can you run a mile?"
The marathoner thought for a moment and then answered, "About five minutes per mile."
The reporter said, "Five minutes per mile? That's not very good. Some runners have done it in under four minutes."
The marathoner thought again and then answered, "Yes, but I can run 26 of them consecutively without slowing down."
–B.G.–May 18, 2010 at 6:56 pm #1611059W I S N E R !Spectator
My point is not to actually compare climbing and running- you can't. But against the backdrop of something like Mount Everest, a very symbolic pinnacle of human achievement that garners plenty of mainstream "oohs and ahhs" when someone climbs it, running a sub-27 minute 10K doesn't sound like much. I don't think people intuitively understand what a sub-27 10K means. Everest, on the other hand, is simple to understand, mountaineer or not: it's the highest and it's irrelevant to most people that over 2000 people have climbed it.
A sub-27 10K will probably never get the respect, media attention, book deals, and movie-screen drama that something like Everest will and yet a far, far smaller percentage of the world's population (only 31 so far!) will ever be able to do it.May 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm #1611090AnonymousInactive
"Everest, on the other hand, is simple to understand, mountaineer or not: it's the highest and it's irrelevant to most people that over 2000 people have climbed it."
Two things come to me in this regard: Mountains have long been viewed as a metaphor for overcoming challenges, struggling to the top, attaining difficult goals. And there's also the eternal human fascination with laying one's life on the line for a lofty goal. Those who do win glory and fame and, all too often, an early grave.
There have been attempts to use running in this way, Chariots of Fire, Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner come to mind, but they have never quite caught the public's imagination the way epic tales of derring do in the mountains have. A pity, IMO, as they both draw heavily on the same admirable human qualities.May 19, 2010 at 8:02 am #1611189Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"There have been attempts to use running in this way, Chariots of Fire, Loneliness of a Long Distance Runner come to mind, but they have never quite caught the public's imagination the way epic tales of derring do in the mountains have. A pity, IMO, as they both draw heavily on the same admirable human qualities."
Yes they do, but climbing Everest is man versus nature. And it is nature at is biggest and worst in the minds of most people. Pretty hard to one-up that drama.Oct 5, 2010 at 1:04 am #1651571James holdenBPL Member
thread resurrect …
any honest climber will tell you its not about you vs nature or even the mountain/rock
because in the end the mountain will always win if you push it enough
its about yrself and how far you can push past the fear
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