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World's Fastest Man Has Never Run a Mile: Report


World's Fastest Man Has Never Run a Mile: ReportCameron Spencer/Getty Images
Usain Bolt of Jamaica flashes a smile during the men's 100-meter semifinal on Day 9 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Sunday, August 14, 2016.

He can smoke anyone on Earth over 100 meters, but can Usain Bolt beat the average P.E. class running a mile?

Apparently, no one can say for sure.

Bolt, the fastest man in the world three times running now, "has never run a mile," his agent told The New Yorker this month.

The magazine reached out to the agent, Ricky Simms, before the Olympics to settle the question of how fast Bolt could run the mile.

A mile is 1,609.34 meters, and if Bolt could keep up his Olympic pace — 9.8 seconds per hundred meters on Sunday — he'd be able to cover it in 2 minutes, 37.7 seconds. His world record 100-meter dash stands at 9.58 seconds, or 27.73 miles per hour, which would translate to a 2 minute, 9.8-second mile.

The record is 3 minutes, 43.13 seconds, set by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj in 1999, but The New Yorker tracked the debate about whether Bolt could sustain an incredible pace over a mile, and found it pretty unlikely. American sprinting greats Florence Griffith Joyner and Carl Lewis didn't do too well at distance.

Perhaps Bolt has learned from their examples. It's good to know your own strength — especially when you're the best in the world.