Wednesday, August 21, 2013

World Class vs The Marathon

Track and field athletes don’t receive the same acclaim as their counterparts in the more popular sports.  This got me to wondering how some of the “BEST” in their sport would do at distance running, i.e. The Marathon.  One given is that the subject athlete would be running The Marathon at his/her prime.  So without further ado…I give you “Brian’s Best Guess, on how the world’s best athletes would do at running The Marathon.”

Professional Football, Running Back for the CLEVELAND BROWNS, #32 Jim Brown

And yes this is a shameless plug for my favorite football team.

Jim Brown was a power-back with brute force, speed, and grace.  Many view Brown as the best football player of his time and of all time.  Brown’s mixture of pure power and on the spot speed left many a defender in his wake, but how would he do at 26.2 miles?

I believe Jim would have been a 3:00 to 3:20 marathoner.  I have no doubt with his talents, he was also a world class lacrosse player and his determination he could have run The Marathon.  Brown was a pure physical specimen in his day but that build may have worked against him in a distance race.  But help the runner who got in his way.

Professional Basketball, Point Guard for Da Bulls, #23 Michael Jordon

On the hardwood this guy had it all…and off the field he changed sports marketing forever.  Everyone wanted to be like Mike.  Not much of a b-ball fan I was witness to his on the court moves via ESPN.  But his business savoy was on display nearly every commercial break.  But how would Air Jordon do at the wall and over 26.2 miles?  Would he fly high or bonk?

I predict old MJ would have been a 3:40 – 4:00 finisher.  Why I have no idea, again this is not a scientific prediction.  During his career we heard a lot about his shooting skills, ball handling, and his seemingly ability to fly to the rim…but not much about conditioning.  So I wonder if he had a sub 4 hour marathon in him.

7 Time NASCAR Season (Winston Cup) Champion and 200 Time Race Winner, #43 The King, Richard Petty.

This guy was racing way before racing was cool.  The Petty family and Richard’s Petty blue race car dominated the NASCAR circuit like no other.  Richard was the first driver to win over one million dollars in a year.  And Petty was the first driver to win seven Daytona 500s and first to win 200 races.  But how would he do with a pair of running shoes in place of his Goodyear racing eagles? 
Richard, I believe would finish as it’s well established on how tough he was.  An example being he once drove with broken bones and rebuilt his cast so he could compete at the next race.  But 26.2 miles on your feet is a lot harder the 500 miles in a car.  The King in his youth would finish around the 4:30 to 5:00 mark.

#1 Ranked Women's Tennis Pro and 5 Time Wimbledon Champion, Serena Williams

When you think of tennis most think of Serena, a mixture of power and grace, she has won it all.  Ranked number one in the world with victories in Wimbledon, US Open, French Open, and the Australian Open (Tennis Majors) there may have not been a better tennis player this side of her sister.  But could she over power Boston?

With 610 victories in pro tennis, I’m sure she would have the drive and ability to train for the marathon.  But I believe with her natural power house frame and muscular build a 3:45 finish may be her best.

America Swimmer, and 12 Time Olympic Medalist, Dara Torres

Torres has won twelve Olympic medals (four gold, four silver, four bronze), one of three women with the most Olympic women's swimming medals. She won five medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics when, at age 33, she was the oldest member of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. She has also won at least one medal in each of the five Olympics in which she has competed, making her one of only a handful of Olympians to earn medals in five different Games. But could this natural in the pool cross over to the road.

If there is a better cross over sport…I can’t think of it.  With the aerobic capacity and overall conditioning it must take to set world records in the water I’m sure Dara could tackle The Marathon.  In her prime, I would predict a 2:30 to 2:45 and I would not be surprised of a faster finishing time.

So there you have it, what once was a wild thought while running “How would other “World Class” athletes from other sports do at The Marathon” is now in print.  It might have been better to keep this stuck in my brain and not in print, but tooooooooo late now.  Okay here is the legal stuff…so pls no one sue me.

The above opinions of said blogger are a humorous attempt to predict how select World Class Athletes may performance in The Marathon.  This information, based on nothing but a hunch as I gazed at pictures and career facts on the internet (Thank you Wikipeda) should not be used for anything other than entertainment.  And the value of that entertainment is subject to much debate.  Said opinions should not be used for financial gain, betting lines in Las Vegas, predicting actual performance or any endeavor where you’re relying on my intelligence.  


  1. Considering that today's drivers like Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson can run a sub 1:30 half marathon, I bet in his prime that Richard Petty could have run 3:45-4 hours back in the day.

    1. Morning Dave,
      Yea, my prediction is a wild guess...being the King...if he wanted to he has the drive to do anything.

      Thanks for reading.

  2. I love this, pro-athletes definitely get a different light shone on them than runners do. I'd love to have a race and see how everyone stacks up!

    1. Thanks Laura, For all that world class runner go thu, you would think they would get more hype. But it is a big $ world.