fifty percent world record

BannisterI once shared that I could long jump 16 feet. I was immediately ridiculed as a braggart and there was no way that was possible and I should shut up etc. I still hold that I can as long as a) I have running shoes on b) there is a legitimate sand pit c) an accurate tape measure. As a justification for my comments, I offered that the world record in the long jump is 29.3 feet and I could surely come within 50% of the record.

Then I stepped up the rhetoric: Could I come with 50% of any world record? My thoughts were centered around track events at first and there is a reasonable chance that a lot of those I could do with no training. Eight minute mile? Beat that. The marathon record is 2:04:55, and I could handle 4:08 on either the first or second try. Stuff like the pole vault would require training, but I’m sure 10’ is within the first week’s sessions.

Despite my lack of game lately, I can indeed shoot a sub 120 shot round of golf. I could finish the tour de France in 6 weeks with time to take some snapshots along the way. I bet I could luge my way down in twice the time.

So here’s the question, what athletic events could I *not* achieve 50% of the world record?



  1. I’ll offer two up already:

    Bench press. The record is up near 965 pounds and 482 is not something I am looking into accomplishing. <- good article on pro bench pressing.

    I thought maybe ski jumping, but I think this is in the same category of pole vaults. If I got some training, 50% of the record could happen in the first week or two.

  2. World record for hot dog eating is 53 in 12 minutes. You could not eat 26.5 in 12 minutes or 53 in 24 minutes.

    If you want to give it a try we can head over to Gray’s Papaya for lunch and I’ll buy the hot dogs.

  3. How about shutouts pitched?


    tennis ball juggling with the foot: Manfred Wagner (Switzerland) 1:26 hours


    hula hoop with a tractor tyre: Roman Schedler (Austria) 71 seconds


    push-ups with hands and feets on chairs: Jean-Francois Huette (France) 100


    most glasses of beer in one hand: 16 glasses à 0.5 l: Petr David (Czech Republic),


    Kevin M. Shelley (USA) broke 31 boards on his forehead on 16 August 1999.

  4. "So here’s the question, what athletic events could I *not* achieve 50% of the world record?"

    I think your math is wrong. 50% of the marathon world record of 2:04 would not be 4:08 but 3:06…

    2:04 * 50% = 1:02


    It is in fact 100% or double the world record.

    Now get me some shrubbery!!

  5. The point of the math is exactly right. I actually knew this when I posted it, but I dumbed down the math because it sounded better that way.

  6. Fair enough.

    Not sure if there is a world record, but I bet you couldn’t drink 5 40’s of Colt 45 in a row.

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