For reasons unknown, humans have been undertaking the unnatural practice of running marathons since before the time of Christ, pacing themselves along the modern standard of 26 miles and 385 yards.
The original marathon was allegedly ran by Pheidippides, a Greek messenger, in 490 BC. According to legend, Pheidippides jogged from the site of the Battle of Marathon, all the way to Athens, to announce that the Persians had been defeated by Greek forces. The messenger ran the entire distance without stopping, barged into the assembly, exclaimed nenikekamen! (we won!) and then collapsed on the floor and died.
Below is Luc-Olivier Merson’s rendering of the event:
Modern marathon victims usually wear pants or shorts. And some knit while running, like University of Central Missouri graphic design professor David Babcock.
The standing Guinness World Record for knitting whilst completing a marathon was 6 feet, 8 inches back in April, and was completed in 6 hours. Babcock trained to beat this mark, and back on October 19th, he completed the Kansas City marathon in 5 hours 48 minutes – while knitting an approximately 12-foot-long scarf, completely blowing the previous record out of the water.
Here’s a clip of “jog-knitting,” from a first person vantage:
Babcock had commented that combining running and knitting makes the former less painful, and both less monotonous. He uses oversized knitting needles, along with a fanny pack full of yarn, to put together scarves and things on the fly, which he drapes over his shoulders. “I have a very smooth gait,” Babcock said.
Knitting experts Cindy Craig of Kansas City and Traci Bunkers of Lawrence, along with Jim Josten, president of an accredited instrument and gauge calibration service, will verify to Guinness the authenticity of Babcock’s achievement.
Knitting as a trend has been enjoying a revival of late. According to the Craft Yarn Council of America, the number of female knitters in the United States aged 25–35 increased 150% between 2002 and 2004. The council estimates that there are roughly 50 million knitters across the globe.
Varied knitter intrigue via Twitter:
The highlight of my day was knitting also I can't control my bladder and I had raisin bran for breakfast
— Betsy Pladson (@bmpladson) November 18, 2013
More mitten knitting tonight! One more to go… pic.twitter.com/cGqTb5tG9P
— Knit Collage (@knitcollage) November 18, 2013
I'm using dinosaur rubber bands as stitch markers in my knitting. Gandalf is helping me. http://t.co/APVIXHuGLE
— Sarah Rules (@Mowgli3) November 17, 2013
Image via YouTube.