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Re: "running" humans



At 09:46 AM 4/4/2003 -0800, Dino Guy Ralph wrote:
Trivia questions:

What is the fastest recorded speed attained by a running human in miles per
hour?

World record: 100m dash, Tim Montgomery (just recently edged out Maurice "Mo" Green's time), at about 23 mph average speed (sprinters can hit ~27 mph at peak instantaneous speed).
See for example: http://www.hsi.net/video3.html


What is the fastest recorded speed attained by a running human in miles per
hour for the distance it would take to evade a predator?

Actual situations with predators? I don't know; such data are presumably very sparse. I would assume it's ~15 mph as I doubt many Olympic sprinters have been timed that way.
Theoretically, I don't know either; would depend on distance, turning ability, predator speed, etc.


What is an approximation of the highest running speed an average adult human
can reach in miles per hour?

~15 mph or so. I raced our elephants and came out about the same max speed, ~15 mph. I'm no Olympian either but I gave it my all; adrenaline rush. I know there's popular legend that people can run much faster when they're really frightened, but I doubt it's near even 5 mph faster than their best possible racing time.


What is an approximation of the highest running speed an average adult human
can reach in miles per hour for the distance it would take to evade a
predator?

Glad I don't know firsthand on that one, and I don't know in general. Probably still very close to 15 mph. It's tough to document that kind of thing (legally).


Obviously these are sloppy questions, which I will not clarify further, but as
a museum docent I would like to provide ballpark figures when the inevitable
comparisons between calculated dinosaur speeds and human running ability come
up.  There are sometimes comments such as "Well, since humans can reach 27
mph, I think I could outrun _T. rex_ easy!" which I think are, shall we say,
simplistic and which I should like to discourage.

Ya.

As I understand it, there
are relatively few large animals that we humans can outrun.

True.

I am particularly
interested in average human running speeds, as some of us are not Olympic
caliber sprinters!

--------Ralph W. Miller III
            ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu

Let's see.  Bakker says you multiply walking speed by ten to get running
speed.  Hey!  I'm faster than I thought!

He says a lot of things. :)



===========================================
John R Hutchinson
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Biomechanical Engineering Division
Stanford University
Durand 209, BME
Stanford, CA 94305-4038
http://www.stanford.edu/~jrhutch/fast_elephants/wanalee/
http://tam.cornell.edu/students/garcia/.trex_www/naturepaper.html
(650) 736-0804 lab
(415) 871-6437 cell
(650) 725-1587 fax
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