I was curious about some of what was being said over at that link at Tam's.
Not so much about the semantics of the word incredible, but about what might constitute such actions, but in other ways.
For instance; what might the numbers be for those who've ever made actual, intended hits at those distances with similar means and methods as those mentioned, at, say, beyond a mile, and comparing that to running the same distance in under 4 minutes.
Now, I personally have some perspective on this physical challenge, as I was a competitive middle distance runner in my youth, having gotten pretty close to the magic threshold that was considered an impossible athletic feat at one point. Specifically, I was curious as to the total number of men (there has yet to be a woman do it, though I'm sure this will eventually be eclipsed) who've done it, and how many times it's been done. I ran across an older link from the New York Times
, of all places, from 2003 that had tabulated the number, at the time, to just under 1,000 men performing the feat just over 4,700 times. Ever.
That was a half-dozen years ago, and I can't imagine that the numbers have skewed radically north of that. That means that each man to have done it has done so, on average, about 5 times during his career
. That's pretty spare when you think about it, and even more so when considering that typical elite-level meets are where the bulk of those times actually get run, and that they are run by those same athletes at the elite meets far more often than, say, at the collegiate level.
Pretty elite company to be in, a fraternity of barely more than a thousand.
So, have there ever been 1,000 servicemen (or...other professionals of the dubious kind) pull off the feat of taking a mark at 1 1/2 miles, and do it twice in a row?
Incredible, yes. Improbable, yes.
Impossible? I'd have thought so.
Labels: Geekery, Personal Accomplishment