Run

Power To The People 

Photography (Above): Pixabay.com

Five remarkable features that make human beings mean running machines. We’d even give the king of the dinosaurs a good contest

DOWN BELOW

Two feet


Kangaroos jump, ostriches stride, and apes support themselves on their hands. But a Homo sapien is the only mammal that can walk elegantly on two feet the whole time. This function goes hand-in-hand with the development of a larger brain.

 

Dean Karnazes

Man

In 2006, Dean Karnazes ran 50 marathons in 50 US states on 50 consecutive days, finishing in New York (three hours, 30 minutes)

© Corbis

Run

Ostrich

Its protein-rich flesh makes good fuel for our muscles, but, at 50kph, the world’s largest bird is more likely to make us eat its dust

© Ingo Arndt/Minden Pictures




AT THE REAR

Glutes muscles


Nothing would work were it not for our behinds. The three muscles in this group - gluteus maximus, medius and minimus - are an evolutionary stroke of genius. They stabilise the centre of the body and allow us to stand up straight - and to run and run.

ON THE INSIDE

A kilo of TNT


During a marathon, a runner produces and uses 75kg of adenosine triphosphate, a kind of internal biodiesel. The energy expended is the equivalent to that contained in a kilo of TNT.

Run

Horse

The Man versus Horse Marathon in Wales pits jockeys against jocks. Beast has triumphed 33 times in 35 races since 1980  

© Pixabay.com




UP TOP

Runner’s high


Humans get natural benefits from running. If the body has to produce a peak performance beyond the pain barrier, it releases endogenous opioids, which are addictive.

ON THE OUTSIDE

Sweat


Any number of animals would beat us in a sprint. But in terms of stamina, we’re out there on our own. We have no fur, but three million sweat glands keep us cool over long distances. And which body part has the most sweat glands? The soles of the feet.

Run

T-Rex

The toothy beggar had a top speed of about 40kph. Those quick legs of ours* would have kept us out of his jaws for a while


*Quick, as in ‘quick as Usain Bolt’ (top speed: 44.7kph). Or, at least, quicker than the people running behind you

© Derick Neill/Fotolia 

Running for those, who can’t!

 

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05 2015 The Red Bulletin

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