Run

Power To The People 

Photography (Above): Pixabay.com

Five remarkable features that make human beings mean running machines. We’d even get ahead of the king of dinosaurs (for a short bit). 

DOWN BELOW

Two feet


Kangaroos jump, ostriches stride, and apes support themselves on their hands. But a Homo sapien is the only species 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 U.S. states on 50 consecutive days, finishing in New York (3 hours, 30 minutes)

© Corbis

Run

Ostrich

Its protein-rich flesh makes good fuel for our muscles, but, at 31 mph, the world’s largest bird is more likely to make us eat its dust

© Ingo Arndt/Minden Pictures




AT THE REAR

Gluteal 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 stabilize the center of the body and allow us to stand up straight - and to run and run.

ON THE INSIDE

Dy-no-mite!


During a marathon, a runner produces and uses 165 pounds of adenosine triphosphate, a kind of internal biodiesel. The energy expended is the equivalent to 2 pounds 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 3 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 42 mph. 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: 27.7 mph). Or, at least, quicker than the people running behind you

© Derick Neill/Fotolia 

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05 2015 The Red Bulletin

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