What would you say if I had a male athlete running 13.6 for 100 meters, 31.56 for 200 meters, and 69.56 for 400 meters?
Or 4 men running the 4×100 meter relay in 62.55?
It would either be a beginner Youth athlete, or a senior Masters athlete, right?
Those are world records for running backwards, or backward running. It’s also called retrorunning.
Some retrorunners claim this style of running strengthens the hamstrings (among other muscles). Frankly, it downright dangerous if you can’t see where you are going! However, for a short distance, such as 10 yards, I can see the benefit for a Free Safety position in American football.
For those of you (i.e. most of us) where 9.58 seconds is out of reach, maybe 13.6 can be your claim to fame?
For the record, the Women’s records are 16.8, 38.47, 1:29.0 and 1:17.8 respectively (100-200-400-4×100)
Other world records are listed here, and the 4x100m video is here on YouTube:
Thanks for bringing this subject up, for it immediately brought up memories of the late and definitely great Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. He was one of the acclaimed entertainers as well as an extraordinary dancer to come out of Harlem, New York during the early 20th century. His story is well documented but I remember first reading about him in a “Guinness Book of World Records” edition. The piece was about Mr. Robinson having the world record for running backwards in the 100 yard dash in 12 point something seconds. His life is a worthwhile read for those interested. Supposedly when he died in 1949, he was “was given the biggest funeral Harlem had ever seen. Honorary pallbearers included Ed Sullivan and Irving Berlin.” according to answers.com. One of the true American heroes.
Jimson Lee says
his wiki page is found here:
I remember his films but never thought about quick feet required for retrorunning!
Ed W says
That’s just friggen hilarious!