Human Speed Records

Over the years, people all over the world have achieved insane records for speed.

via Pixabay

Over the years, people all over the world have achieved insane records for speed.

Out of the 7.7 billion people on the planet, only a few of them have managed to make an appearance in the Guiness World Record book with their incredible speeds. Some speed records aren’t even contestable, while others are nearly tied by a fraction of a second. Most speed records are just insanely random like the record for smashing watermelons with their head and the record for eating tons of ketchup in one minute. Other random records include arcade basketball machine scores and top speed juggling. While breaking a world record that people actually care about is more notable of a feat, it is still an accomplishment to break a less known record because that still makes someone one of a kind.

The most popular speed records are the ones that include distance traveled. These include running, swimming, walking, horseback riding, and bicycling speed records. All of these can be calculated differently depending on how far the person traveled. For instance, while Usain Bolt holds the record for the fastest sprint at a speed of about 27.8 mph, the fastest 400 meter dash was completed in 43.03 seconds with an average speed of about 19 mph. Even farther than that was the fastest mile which was completed with a time of 3:43.13. While bicycling is mostly a leisure activity, it is also a highly competitive sport that people have taken to the next level. While the highest speed of a bike is 147 mph, the record for the highest speed of a bike traveling on flat ground is 82.82 mph and is held by Sam Whittingham, a Canadian cyclist. As for the fastest swimmer, Michael phelps is the most consistently fast swimmer of all time with 23 gold medals and 5 other medals. He holds the record for the fastest 200 meter freestyle swimming race which he completed with a time of 47.05 seconds. The shortest competitive swimming distance is 50 meters and the record time is owned by Cesar Cielo with a time of 21.3 seconds. One of the longest competitive distances for swimming is 1500 meters and is usually done with the freestyle technique. The record was broken during the European Championships in December of 2015 by Gregorio Paltrinieri with a time of 14:08.06.

Two of the lesser known distance based speed records are horseback riding and walking. Believe it or not, walking is actually a sport that is taken seriously by many. There are many different speed walking techniques, but the most common and effective method is putting the left leg to the far right of the right leg and then placing the right leg to the far left of the left leg. The fastest recorded walk was recorded in February of 1995 in a massive indoor gym. Mikhail Shchennikov is the record holder for walking and completed a 5000 meter course in 18 minutes and 7 seconds. Horseback riding started out as a form of entertainment for the wealthy but later became an unpopular sport that anybody could watch. While the record holder is technically the horse in this situation, the trainer was still present during the run and was also responsible for the horse’s training. The record holding horse, Winning Brew, ran at a speed of about 44 mph with Francis Vitale on her back, guiding her throughout the race. While 44 mph was Winning’s top speed, she averaged a speed of about 42 mph when she ran the quarter mile track in about 20 seconds.

A few random speed records include the fastest eaters, punchers, clappers, rappers, clickers and typers. The fastest clapper can clap 721 times in one minute and the fastest puncher can throw 352 proper punches in one minute. The fastest rapper can rap up to 11.2 syllables per second and one of the most popular speed eaters, Matt Stonie, holds records for consuming things like 6 pound birthday cakes in under ten minutes. He has also eaten 11 pounds of yogurt in a little over 5 minutes and 7 pounds of pancakes in 8 minutes. His most incredible record was probably when he ate over 20,000 calories of wings, burgers, pizza, and chips.

There are so many different variants of speed records held by people. Some records are incredibly popular and the people who have broken them have become famous off of their record breaking achievement, while others have accomplished incredible things as well but just don’t get the same glory. Every world record holder should feel special because no matter how insignificant their accomplishment was, they did something that nobody else on earth could do.