In Berlin this weekend, Haile Gebrselassie set a new world record for the marathon. His own record, actually. His time was 2:03:59.
Holy alien imposter, Batman, that's fast!
I'm going to break it down a little, to show just how fast that is.
A marathon is 26.2 miles. That's an average of 4:44 for each mile. 4:44. The current world record for ONE mile is 3:43.13, one minute faster than every mile run in this marathon. Running Times reports that a "two-year study of more than four million high school students during the early 1980s found that the average boy took 7:40 to run a mile. The average girl took 9:51." I bet the girls have caught up a bit since then. In my most recent 5K, I averaged a 6:35 mile, and in my best marathon, I averaged 7:52 for all 26.2 miles. That's only a little over 3 minutes per mile slower than the best!
If this still sounds like the difference between saying that the sun is 93000000 miles away or 93000000000 miles away, then just take it from me; that guy is really, really fast.