Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How Long Would a Couch-to-Fridge Marathon Take?

I was at my cousin's wedding last Friday night, and the topic of the New York City Marathon came up. I said that my dad ran the race for something like 15 straight years, and someone else commented that they would only run the marathon if they could do it from their couch.

"How long do you think a marathon would take, if you just went back and forth from your couch to your fridge?" I asked. I got a variety of responses: "Two months." "Six months." "Six years."

Well, it's a good thing I'm here to solve this word problem!

A full marathon spans 138,435 feet, and the distance between my couch and my fridge is 26.75 feet. I figure that I make the couch-to-fridge round-trip journey an average of about five times a night, meaning that I travel 267.5 feet per night (26.75 x 2 x 5). In order to complete a marathon, I'd have to sustain that average for 518 days (138,435 / 267.5). So the couch-to-fridge marathon would take just under a year-and-a-half.

Now, if I added in two or three bathroom trips per night,* I'd cut down my marathon time to less than a year. It's not quite as good as the sub-three-hour marathons that my dad ran, but I'd take it.

*Eight-to-ten bathroom trips on nights when beer is prominently involved.

The two best parts of my hypothetical marathon:
1. On the day I finished my slow-and-steady race, I'd dramatically limp around wearing one of those foil blankets.

I'd crush this guy in a couch marathon.
2. Unlike in a New York City Marathon, in the couch-to-fridge marathon you wouldn't have to set foot in Staten Island.

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