I can run faster than Usain Bolt!

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02/03/2010 at 08:34

I made this comment in work today and after the laughs died down I added – over the marathon distance. I was only joking around of course but it got me thinking to what sort of times can a world class  100m sprinter run a marathon. Does anyone know of such a sprinter who has run a marathon and if so what was his time? I’d imagine it would have to be someone who has just retired as I don’t think any sprinter would do such a thing.

02/03/2010 at 09:11

I don't know of any that have tried.  It's doubtful you'd be faster than any world class track athlete over any distance if he put any training to it.

02/03/2010 at 09:36
don't know about out and out sprinters but Seb Coe who was nifty over 800m did one - a time of 2:58 so not that great in the scheme of things. don't know how much training he did for it though
02/03/2010 at 09:37

Didn't Steve Cram do a quite respectable time in FLM in recent years?

02/03/2010 at 09:40
He was an 800m / 1500m runnner though, and quite good at it. It`d be interesting to see our drug-fuelled sprinters have a crack - Wells, Christie and Chambers. Maybe that ought to have been part of their punishment!!!??!
cougie    pirate
02/03/2010 at 09:41

I read somewhere about the distance that sprinters train over and their maximum runs were all less than a kilometer or so  - they really dont do any distance at all. So you would have the edge there.  Plus some of them are built like brick lavvies....

Oh hang on Iwan Thomas ran London last year - just under 4 hours I think ?

02/03/2010 at 09:52

In the world of two wheels.

During training for the Olympics/World Championships, the Russian track-sprinters (& all the various velodrome disciplines) used to go out for the 'long rides' with the road team, & maybe knock up 70-80 mile rides per day (& their speciality may be the 1K sprint)

I believe the same thing happens to a certain extent with the present British track teams.

On a similar note; Lance Armstrong, between his 2005 retirement, & his return to the bike, ran marathons (eg; 2007 New York in 2.46, & 2008 Boston in 2.51)

But let's not forget he was a (junior) runner initally, before becoming a triathlete (& beating the 20 year olds when he was 16)

02/03/2010 at 10:35

I remember all the numpty debates about Lance Armstrong and what time he might achieve, when he announced he was running the New York marathon.  VO2max of 85 milliwotsits per thingy, therefore he should go out and break the world record.  Innit.

Interesting question about sprinters though.  If someone is born with an unusually large proportion of fast twitch muscle fibres, would this actually put them at a disadvantage in the marathon, compared to your average Joe?? 

If you gave Usain Bolt a zillion pounds to train for a sub-2:30 for London next year, could he do it? 

02/03/2010 at 10:54
PhilPub wrote (see)

I remember all the numpty debates about Lance Armstrong and what time he might achieve, when he announced he was running the New York marathon.  VO2max of 85 milliwotsits per thingy, therefore he should go out and break the world record.  Innit.


Personally I reckon Lances biggest advantage in the marathons was that he believed in himself (okay & he had a level of fitness us mere mortals could only dream of)

Yes I know he was coached by damned good marathon runners, & even told to slow down during the 'NYM'

02/03/2010 at 11:58
Richard Thackeray 2 wrote (see)

On a similar note; Lance Armstrong, between his 2005 retirement, & his return to the bike, ran marathons (eg; 2007 New York in 2.46, & 2008 Boston in 2.51)

But let's not forget he was a (junior) runner initally, before becoming a triathlete (& beating the 20 year olds when he was 16)


Abraham Olano (Spanish cyclist, professional at the same time as LA, now retired) knocked out a 2-36 marathon and I believe Rolf Aldag (ex professional cyclist) has beaten Lance's times as well.
Chris Boardman ran London last year and did 3h19
02/03/2010 at 12:05
Going back to sprinters v distance runners, it used to be painful watching Daley Thompson going round the 1500m and trying to get the time he needed.
02/03/2010 at 12:05
Correction in November 2006 he ran the San Sebastian marathon in a time of 2:39:19. Aldag ran the Hamburg marathon in April 2006 with a time of 2 hours 42 minutes
02/03/2010 at 12:46

I always remember Daley Thompson sauntering round the 1500m because he already had the overall event in the bag!  Pretty obvious it's a race he hated.

Seb Coe didn't race / train hard for that marathon.

02/03/2010 at 13:21
I think Cram ran low 2.30s for the marathon.  Ovett ran a very good HM when still a world-class 800/1500 runner, although again I suppose this tells us more about the 'twitch fibres' of 800/1500 runners than how a sprinter would fare over a marathon!
02/03/2010 at 13:43

What made DT's 1500m look even slower was that he was running them at the same time that Coe, Ovett and Cram were around!

I've never run 1,500m but I just plugged my best race time into McMillan and it reckons I could beat DT's pb (4:20.3) by 2 secs!    (Bet it would hurt though.)

02/03/2010 at 14:17
the egyptian toe wrote (see)
He was an 800m / 1500m runnner though, and quite good at it. It`d be interesting to see our drug-fuelled sprinters have a crack - Wells, Christie and Chambers. Maybe that ought to have been part of their punishment!!!??!

Was Alan Wells a drug cheat? I'd not heard that....or have I just missed something?
02/03/2010 at 14:42
I don't think Wells was a drug cheat - not that anything ever came out although he was around before testing was truly mainstream. his biggest issue revolved around his Moscow 100m gold which many thought was devalued as the Yanks had boycotted the games........
02/03/2010 at 14:53

You can guarantee that in a race of 42.2kms, Usain Bolt would be bound to trip over his laces at some point, with the very real possibility of injuring himself. So on balance, yes BadBark, there is a possibility you could beat him in a marathon. I'd probably still bet on him though. With a grin like that, he'd charm the finishing line towards him.

02/03/2010 at 15:09
Joolska wrote (see)
I think Cram ran low 2.30s for the marathon. 
Wiki has Cram down for 2:35 in 1999 for the marathon
02/03/2010 at 20:04
Alan Wells never got caught . . ..
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