It’s well documented that running is a great form of exercise, which is a big part of the reason that it has exploded in popularity in recent decades. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal a few months ago that was critical of the slower average race times of young people these days relative to the running times of people their age a few decades ago. The article attempted to make a connection between these slower running times and an overall decrease in America’s global competitiveness. The problem with that article is that it failed to take into consideration the growth in running participation. A few decades ago, there were fewer participants in organized races, and the runners who did participate were typically individuals who trained for races. Running is much less of a niche activity now. There is much more participation, including substantial participation by people who are not conditioned runners and are only there to see if they can finish the race. There are still fast runners in the younger demographic, but their times are diluted by the heavier participation by unconditioned runners.
If anyone needs reassurance that there are still competitive people who are ready to push themselves to their physical limits, just watch the video below. This is footage from The Toughest Mudder race. Tough Mudder is a hybrid race consisting of running and obstacle courses, and there are Tough Mudder competitions all over the world. The World’s Toughest Mudder is the most extreme of all the races. There is a 5-mile course consisting of 22 intense obstacles. Contestants have 24 hours to see how many times they can complete the course. The contestant who logs the most miles wins. The winner of last year’s competition was 26-year-old Ryan Atkins, who completed an astonishing 100 miles in 24 hours. Checkout the insanity below. If you like the video, ‘Share’ it.