Marathon Viewed from Outer Space

Watching a Marathon from Outer Space

Have you ever wondered what a marathon would look like from outer space?

After the seriousness of my chat about alcohol, that was surprisingly well received, here’s something lighter to celebrate the life and work of Stephen Hawking who died earlier today. It also happens to be Pi Day today.

Whenever we watch a long-distance race on a TV screen it tends to show us limited views of the progression of all the runners. Sometimes of the start line, sometimes of the pack of the leading elite, and sometimes even a drone view of the gap that the East Africans have created over the other mortals. We never really get to see how the entire population of participants progress relative to each other through the entire course.

I have wondered for a while what all the runners would look like running from start to finish in one screen. It so happens that, whether in Maths or Medicine, Physics or Physiology, Chemistry or Computer Science, I tend to solve problems through visualization. Equations or prose come later to present the problem in a way that can be documented or explained to others. So, it was time to put my geek hat on, write some computer code and, voila, I produced something that satisfied one of my long list of, perhaps trivial, curiosities.

A select few runner friends I showed it to thought it was cool, so I thought I’d share it with you too.

But, that’s not all! If you like it too, and if you want a customized FREE gift of a similar movie, of yourself highlighted, and up to 3 friends, in a similar movie, it’s yours! (It won’t be made public if you do not want it to be.)

But you have to be quick. The first 10 to register get a movie of themselves and up to 3 other friends. Please click here to be one of them. And, if you aren’t one of the first 10, I’m sorry! But, hey, you can still enjoy the ones below.

Many thanks to NixTrix for the music. His YouTube channel is here if you want to check out his other music. [As it so happens, his recall of the first 100 digits of Pi, when he was aged 9, was faster than mine! Another fitting coincidence for pi Day!]

Thanks also to “EmVee” whose patient help reduced my struggle to make this movie possible.

Perhaps, over the months ahead, I will provide more insight into specific distance running race questions using this tool.

Here is the Mumbai Marathon 2018 (Half) viewed from Outer Space:

And, here is the Mumbai Marathon 2018 (Full) viewed from Outer Space:

I hope you thought that was fun to watch and will share it with your friends. Please don’t just archive it inside a black hole…

Stephen Hawking, may his soul rest in peace…



Dr Purnendu Nath spends his waking hours focusing on helping individuals and organizations reach their goals, to make the world a better place. He speaks, writes and advises on topics such as finance, investment management, discipline, education, self-improvement, exercise, nutrition, health and fitness, leadership and parenting.

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