With news that the Nike Breaking2 Project has conducted its first test run, a half-marathon, at a Formula 1 race track in Monza, Italy, the off-beat side of the sport is high on the news cycle.
Last week besides the indoor nationals in Albuquerque, the interesting running news came out of Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium where the NFL Scouting Combine was putting this year’s crop of draft-eligible rookies through their paces.
The big story that emerged was University of Washington’s John Ross blazing the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds, besting the 2008 record of 4.24 set by East Carolina’s Chris Johnson.
Flotrack’s Goron Mack did an interesting comparison between Ross’s 4.22 40 and track’s 60 meters, determining that Ross’s half-hand timed run would have extrapolated, at best, to 6.62 for a full electronic 60 meters, a time that would have placed him seventh in Sunday’s 60-meter final at the USATF Indoor Nationals in New Mexico behind Ronnie Baker‘s winning 6.45. But wouldn’t if be kinda cool to see how our sprinters might compare apples-to-apples?
How about having our own combine exhibition? The NFL markets their Draft Combine so well, why not capitalize?
Set up an unofficial timer at 40 yards at Penn or Drake Relays just to see what track’s top sprinters would come through while running the full 100 meters, though it would have been cooler to see them indoors in the 60. And then have track’s top long jumpers try the standing long jump, and the high jumpers try their fast-twitch fibers in the vertical jump. Fun stuff. Piggy back on NFL marketing.
Athletics, one would assume, has the better pure speed and jump men. So put them on display in a way that jumps into the wider culture.
We have seen some interesting new staging of track at Melbourne, Australia’s Nitro Athletics meet. Let’s try something new ourselves.