Usain Bolt has never run a mile, but how fast could he do it?
How would the world's fastest sprinter fare in a longer race?
It may come as a surprise that Usain Bolt -- the world's fastest man -- has never run a mile.
The revelation comes from a piece in The New Yorker that quotes Bolt's agent, Ricky Simms, as saying, "Usain has never run a mile."
The quote got all the headlines, but the story itself actually goes into great detail exploring just how fast Bolt would be able to run a mile -- if he ever chose to do so.
The world record is three minutes, 43 seconds, set by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999. According to the article, fewer than 500 people have run an officially recognized four-minute mile.
So a five-minute mile would be a reasonable expectation for the world's fastest sprinter, right?
Co-founder of LetsRun.com and former cross country coach Robert Johnson said there's no way Bolt would be able to make that time.
"If that was the over/under, I'd mortgage my nonexistent house to try to bet up to six figures he was over that," Johnson said. "He's a total fast-twitch-muscle-fiber guy. To expect Bolt to be good at the mile simply because he is the world's greatest sprinter would be like expecting a great 320-pound NFL. offensive lineman to be good at playing running back simply because he's a great football player. It's ludicrous."
Johnson's opinion wasn't unanimous, however. Zebulon Lang, an assistant track and cross-country coach at Cornell University, thinks Bolt would smash the five-minute barrier.
"I'm happy to go on record that I believe Bolt could run a mile in 4:20 right now," he said.
We won't be sure who's right until Bolt decides to get off his lazy butt and finally run a mile. Maybe he'll do it after winning three more sprinting gold medals in Rio -- he says it's his last Olympics, after all.
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