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USA Today sports rankings revisited(15 posts)

USA Today sports rankings revisitedbludoggy
Feb 21, 2003 7:44 AM
Number 7 comes in as running a marathon. This is harder than the TDF? Really? Honestly, i've never run a marathon, nor have i ridden in the TDF, but really.... For those marathon runners out there, is a marathon any harder than, say, a double century or something like RAMROD (154 miles with 10,000 ft of climbing)?
..or 20 marathons with two days rest?nmSpunout
Feb 21, 2003 7:50 AM
re: USA Today sports rankings revisitedPEDDLEFOOT
Feb 21, 2003 8:26 AM
I have not read the article so my question would be is the ranking aimed at an average person doing a marathon or riding the TDF opposed to proffesionals doing these events.

Obviously it would be easier for an average runner to complete a marathon than the TDF.I'm a perfct example of that.I've completed several marathons but I couldn't finish the TDF.

If the article is geared towards the proffesionals than the difficulty may be differant.Running a 2:05 in a single marathon is a super human accomplishment and could be fairly compared to the TDF.

I'm not saying it's more difficult but seeing they are ranked so close together you could probably make a valid arguement for either side.
re: USA Today sports rankings revisitedEmu_Lane
Feb 21, 2003 8:57 AM
Maybe if the writer's facts were correct, he would have put the TDF higher. He states Armstrong rides UP TO 90 miles a day. How can you cover 2114 miles in 20 days if your longest day is 90 miles? Even if he doesn't know the Tour, simple math would tell him that.

I think, however, the fact that an average joe tries a marathon and only pros ride the Tour make it difficult to compare. If they could examine the stress on the body of an average joe riding 2114 miles in 20 days I think it would be viewed as more difficult.

Have they not disclosed 1 through 6 yet? I am assuming they haven't but I think you'll be more perturbed when you see 1 through 6. I am sure hitting a curve ball will be up there. I can almost gaurantee a hole in one is probably viewed as the toughest thing in sports.
hole in one - interestingcollinsc
Feb 21, 2003 9:16 AM
how can something that is 100% luck be viewed as hard?

a hole in one is probably the easiest accomplishment in sports. everyone does it on accident. it takes no grand physical feat or iron will to make the ball go into the hole. you just aim for the flag and pray.

toughest? no way. most improbable? probably.
everyone does it?climbo
Feb 21, 2003 9:36 AM
that's an overstatement. I would think most golfers have never hit one. Hard - yes it is, it doesn't have to be physically demanding to be hard to do. It's not all luck either. Maybe for me hitting one would be all luck but for pro golfers they can aim the ball where they want it to go. I wonder if the other sports people complain about these lists as much as cyclists, it seems absurd to even bother.
not "everyone does it"collinsc
Feb 21, 2003 1:32 PM
what I meant was everyone who has done one, has done it by chance.

Granted, for pro golfers, the chance/skill ratio is better, but it is still absolutely a crap shoot.

Pro golfers just have a higher chance to get one because they have a higher chance of getting close in the first place.
golf shouldn't be on the listsievers11
Feb 21, 2003 2:11 PM
Golf is a game, not a sport...should beating big blue in chess be high on the list.

It could be argued that both are great feats intelect, luck and control...the same could be argueed about winning a marathons or the TDF.

I have always cuppled sport with some type of fitness level. Golf is out in my book.

FYI: Journalist for the most part don't know jack (appoligize for those journalists that are cyclist, there is some hope.)
Century hits me harder than a marathon, but...cory
Feb 21, 2003 8:40 AM
I'm whipped way worse by a hard century than I ever was by a marathon, but I can't compare straight across. When I was running, I was in my 20s and early 30s and training hard two to four hours a day. I didn't start cycling seriously until my mid-40s, after I had kids and a demanding job, so I've never averaged even half as much training time.
FWIW, the marathon caused more pain both during and after, and I always seemed to have some nagging injury (that's why I quit running). I've cycled pretty much injury-free, but a century, at least at my present level of fitness, just drains me for days afterward.
Having run Marathons at a very high level.........Len J
Feb 21, 2003 9:29 AM
The earliest I could have run another marathon (at race pace) after competing in one was around 6 weeks later. If I did 154 miles with 10,000 ft of climbing I could probably repeat it at the same pace a week later.

I hope this helps

Yes, but...bludoggy
Feb 21, 2003 9:44 AM
is it simply recovery time that defines difficulty? I suspect it would take me much longer to recover from being beaten up with a baseball bat than from running a marathon, but getting beaten up isn't too difficult if you're stupid enough. Granted, running a marathon probably causes more harm to the body than cycling a double century, but which is more difficult?
Having run Marathons at a very low level.........dzrider
Feb 21, 2003 11:16 AM
I'd agree with you. Running a marathon is like doing a very long time trial on the world's stiffest fixed gear bike.

I think the most difficult thing in sports would be boxing 15 rounds. Try hitting a heavy bag hard for 3 minutes then imagine doing that 14 more times with the bag hitting back.
Having boxed at a very low level ...OldEdScott
Feb 21, 2003 12:04 PM
I'm here to tell you you're right. Nothing compares. My guess is, winning the world heavyweight championship should be at the top of the list of ten hardest things to do in sports.
Give it a fricking breakPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Feb 21, 2003 10:12 AM
My first arguement is the guy pointed out that the training to run a marathon was much harder than running the actual marathon. How hard is it to train for a century??? Short of crashing or gear mashing your entire career theres not many ways to get injured on our bike in the sport. Also how many sub 2 1/2 hour marathons do you see runners do in consecutive days? The answer is not many... physically they'd just break down from doing this.

Then I justify their rankings for the following reasons:
1) genetic ability - just for the sake of arguement on average a woman would corner slower in an untrained state than a male. Now take this into the individual sexes you'll have people who have a harder time just because they aren't naturally as strong.
2) training - for the most part genetic ability can be overcome with training. But ultimately at the highest levels of competition genetic ability will play into being one of the factors that seperates #1 from even #10 in the world. Other things will include efficiency of training (how much training time is being lost to activities that aren't 100% productive), diet, etc..
3) No sport has the right to say its harder from another sport. Each sport requires its own finite characteristics that can be achieved through experience or training. These are things that shouldn't even be attempted to rank. I don't have a lot of respect for baseball players but I am sure throwing a curve ball at 90 mph or hitting a home run will worm its way into the top 10. And although I do not respect how baseball players train without a doubt I respect what they do.

So be happy cycling made it in there. It was a good article that enlightens the American public... I'm not going to compain about that.

call this for what it is: BSyeah right
Feb 21, 2003 10:16 AM
It's USA Today first of all.

Secondly the TDF is a freakish thing, in terms of non-"extreme" events (ultra's etc.) it is the most difficult in terms of recovery and performance. It simply cannont be compaired to a single day event. Each year 180 extremely fit men take the line, and usually only 2/3 finish.

In terms of pain, the only difference between a 2:08 marathon and a two hour break away attempt is that the cyclist will still have knees in a few years.