Gold medal-winning sprinter from Britain’s Olympic team races a BMW (video)
Mark Lewis-Francis anchored Britain’s gold medal-winning 4X100 relay team at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and as part of the buildup to the London Games, he raced a BMW 320d EfficientDynamics auto on the Mall in London on Sunday.
The particular BMW model Lewis-Francis raced is one of two main autos that will serve as the fleet of vehicles utilized during the Olympics, so the tie-in was a sensible one.
But the question is, how did the sprinter fare against the supremely-built German automobile in a race? Via The Sun:
On a sunny Sunday in front of Buckingham Palace, Lewis-Francis agreed to run man versus machine over 40m — and after the first race the results were close, but it was 1-0 to the man on two legs.
Crunching the stats for the second run, the sprinter hit halfway in 3.13secs – 0.17secs up on the BMW.
But by the finish the car went had zoomed through in 4secs flat, with Lewis-Francis just 0.12sec back.
Although he lost, Lewis-Francis certainly held his own in the short run, and even he was surprised by his performance against the BMW:
“People regularly ask me to explain how I can run so fast and what the crucial elements of our technique really are. “Today has shown just how important those small efficiencies are and how they equally relate to engineering in cars. I did not expect to be able to outrun the BMW for so long!”
Indeed. You know, Lewis-Francis’ impressive performance has inspired me to attempt an equally formidable feat, at least equally formidable in light of my limitations in both relative health and training: I will race a 1978 Ford Pinto. As soon as I can find one that still runs. Hopefully, I will not. Running sure sounds like a lot of work.