Ten Seconds

Ten seconds is a very, very short time. Ask any child who has been given the ten second ultimatum… Mama: “You got ten seconds to get in here and wash those dishes like I told you to a half hour ago!!” Twelve seconds later…. I’m like… “Ma it took me ten seconds to process what you said… Whap! whap!! whap!!.. lol.. or the never gets old stand-by… “Ima count to ten then.. (insert something bad is gonna happen to you..”) If you have been particularly misbehaving and Dad has to get involved, well you can throw the ten seconds out the window… Dad: “Ima count to three…”

Just A Black Thang

Lately I have been thinking about Sha’Carri and the tough break she got in forfeiting her spot at the Tokyo Olympics. Most of us fall into one of two categories, they are only penalizing her because she is black… or two… you did it to yourself. I am in the latter camp. As much as I empathize with the lost of a parent.. my parents have also transitioned.. you knew there would be consequences to your actions. I am not going to spend a lot of time on this because one… I love a comeback and two… if you do what you say at the next Olympics.. then you will have single handedly done more for young black girls self esteem than “almost” anyone has done in the last ten years. You will be “that girl.” You got this and we got you. Before I get back to the main topic of the article, I want to also give a shout out to Gwen Berry, (pictured above) the olympic hammer thrower who’s political display on the podium was responsible for snatching the Eggo’s of millions of conservatives all over the United States all at the same time. “Dey was hot!!!” Black men have known this fact for thousands of years… nobody can get under your skin like a black women… I mean nobody… When she turned her back as they played the National Anthem and then gave them that look… that look in front of the whole world.. well let’s just say… the lights in the Capitol were turned down and there was whispered talks of repealing the 13th Amendment. Sen. Cybil Warr: “We just want to repeal it for 1 hour.. just 1 hour.. that’s all we need!! Just one damn hour!!” Hundreds of petitions went up calling for Berry to be removed from the US Olympic team. “The entire point of the Olympic team is to represent the United States of America.” -Rep Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.). Well Dan, I hate to tell you this, but she represents all of us.. not just you and your band of tea pot patriots. I think she has a right to express her feelings as do many of us. Luckily for you I have an article on black Olympians to write about or I would spend this time lowering your flag to half staff..

How Far Is A 100 Meters?

At the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico, a feat which before had been widely regarded as a physical and psychological barrier was obtained by Jim Hines when he became the first man to officially break the ten second 100 meter sprint. Like I said 10 seconds is a very short time. I did some calculation so I could put it in a proper perspective. Imagine yourself at the local Walmart parking lot. The average width of a car is about 6.5 feet. You pull out your calculator and determine that 100 meters is about 55.7 car widths. You get into your sprinter stand and begin to get ready to run. You figure you will try to run past 50 cars since not all cars are the same width. The police pull up and ask you what are you doing. A passerby says you were breaking into cars. The police tells you to get on the ground. One of them puts his foot on your back while the other one holds a gun on you and throws a bag of reefer on the ground next to you. A mother and her small son walks by and she says. ” See that Robert Lee.. you don’t want to end up like that.. they caught that nigg@r stealing.” The police drag you down to the station and before the Magistrate. “Boy it says here they caught you robbing a bank with a joint in your mouth… I’ma set bail at one million dollars… next case..”.. “wait a minute..” lol.. Anyway, so yeah you would have to run past at least fifty cars in under ten seconds.. without the police chasing you… in order to compete at the Olympic level. Personally I was able to run past twelve…well it was more of a run past six…then a trot past four and a walk past two…

In The Past

So before Jim Hines (left) “officially” broke he 10 second barrier, there was another guy that unofficially broke the record in 1963. His name was Bob Hayes. His nickname was “Bullet Bob.” Hayes ran the first under 10 in 9.9 seconds at the Mt SAC Relays in California. So I keep mentioning official and unofficial under ten sprints. That’s because when you run the 100 meter sprints you cannot have a wind at you back in excess of 4.5 mph. Hayes broke the record with a tail wind of 11 mph. As an aside Jesse Owens ran the 100 meter in 10.3 seconds in 1938 at the Olympics in Berlin, tying the world record and he set a new world record in the 200 meters at 20.7 seconds. Hayes went on to play professional football in the NFL where he also won a Super Bowl title with the Dallas Cowboys. He is the only athlete to have won both a Gold Medal in the Olympics and a Super Bowl title. Hayes died in 2002 from kidney failure. So while Hines was running rampant and stacking several Olympic medals, another moment in black history was also unfolding at that world match. In a moment that has stood the test of time Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood atop the winners podiums with arms outstretched in a defiant fist that became the symbol of a generation during the late 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. They marched up to that podium donning black gloves and wearing black socks with fist raised while the crowd booed and hurled racial slurs down on the men. Both men paid a heavy price. Smith and Carlos were banned from the games. At home the men were ostracized and faced harassment and death threats. Racist: “Nigg@ you think you was running fast there…” Remember when Elvis Presley said, “The only thing a n-word can do for me is shine my boots?” Any n-word but Tommie Smith and John Carlos. John Carlos once had to burn his furniture to keep warm. In the end both men were redeemed. Among other awards, in 2005, a statue showing Smith and Carlos on the medal stand was dedicated on the campus of San Jose State University. Norman’s silver medal position was left vacant at his request, so visitors could pose for photos in solidarity with Smith and Carlos, as Norman had stood. Norman was the third athlete on the podium. He was white and stood in solidarity during their protest. After they finished dragging him through the mud, he was darker than me. Peter Norman was from Australia and wore an OPHR ( Olympic Project For Human Rights) badge in solidarity. It was the same as eating chitlins and potato salad while playing when the revolution comes at a block party in Harlem. His career dried up like leftover meatloaf.


Florence Griffith Joyner Smashes the 100M Record July 25, 1988

Up until 2010 no white athlete had ever broken the 10 second 100 meter sprint. Then came Christophe Lemaitre. Lemaitre was from France. He broke the sub 10 coming in at 9.99 seconds. The oldest man to break the 10 second barrier was named Kim Collins. A former world champion, Kim clocked in at 9.93 after he was found cheating behind the bleachers by Heeza Dedman, his girlfriend and silver medalist in the 200 meter and martial arts… okay.. I’m kidding… Seriously Kim won legitimately at the age of 40. In 2012 several athletes broke the sub 10 at the 2012 Summer Olympics in Beijing. It was the first time so many athletes had done so at a single meet. They all qualified except for one, Tyson Gay who was disqualified for doping. So I am not trying to add fire to the Sha’Carri incident, but in this case I am with Tyson Gay. Gay was penalized for doping in the 2013 World Championships. They took all of his medals from the “prior year 2012…” including the silver Olympic medal! Had they let the results stand, it would have been the fourth fastest 100 meter run in human history! Carl Lewis was the first to break the sub 10 under low altitude. The higher up you go the less air resistance you face. Maurice Greene was the first to break the 9.80 barrier, followed by Usain Bolt with 9.70 and later with 9.60 at the same meet. Usain would later break his own record running an astounding 9.58 in the 100 meters, a record that stands to this very day. No woman has broken the sub 10 barrier yet, but it’s coming. The fastest woman record holder in the 100 meter is of course Flo-Jo, Florence Griffith Joyner. She ran the 100 meter in an amazing 10.49 seconds. That was in 1988 and the record has stood for over 30 years. Joyner died at the age of 38 on September 21, 1998. In 1988 she was named Time’s Women Of The Year.

Will There Ever Be A Nine Second 100 Meter Runner?

Probably… if Heeza catches him… lol. Well there are two camps on this subject. First the nay camp. They say that in order to do a 9 second 100 meter, you would have to push off the ground at roughly six times your body weight.. they actually said you would have to push off the ground at 600 lbs of pressure and you would have to do this at an extremely fast rate. Breaking the 10 second barrier requires you to push off the ground with a force of 400 lbs. Another obstacle they say is when you start at the blocks. After you push off from the blocks it takes you about a third of the 100 meter distance to reach your fastest speed, then it comes down to maintaining that speed. Typically 100 meter runners slow down toward the end because of fatigue. However all this goes out the window if you are already in motion as in the runners in a relay. Professional runners who are already in motion can generate 600 lbs of pressure per step and in fact most do, but generating that speed and thrust of motion from a stand still in only 100 meters is something the naysayers think is impossible. There are conflicting degree of force estimations from experts who calculate what is needed to run a 9 second 100 meters…. and that brings us to the people who think it will be possible in the future. Yay sayers say that the fastest human being on the planet, Usain Bolt achieved his record breaking 9.58 seconds 100 meter sprint by running at 12.4 meters a second, about 40 feet a second.. with a frequency of 4.49 hz, the amount of times his feet hit the ground with a step length of 2.77 meters or around 9 feet with each step. To run a 9 second 100 meter sprint, you would need to run at 13.2 meter a second or 43 feet a second with a frequency of 4.63 hz and a step length of 2.85 meters per second or 9ft 4 inches a second.. just modest gains from the sub 10 runs. But there is a problem, when you increase the step length, you decrease the frequency. This can be mitigated according to the experts by genetics and muscle adaptations. By that they mean you have to increase the size of the muscles that are involved in running.. not just any muscle group, but the muscles that are involved in fast twitching. “To produce the step lengths and frequencies suggested above a combination of genetics and training would need to produce bum,( buttocks) thigh and calf muscles which are a little bit stronger and faster than the current best sprinters.” It probably will not happen in our lifetimes, but they assure us, it will happen one day…
“Boy are you still up writing on that computer!! You got ten second to cut off that light and go to bed or…”


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.