100m sprint part 2 – the winner is…

Last time out, I set out the 6 candidates for the Animal  Kingdom 100m sprint. Let’s delve in to my mind’s eye and see who my winners are.

Well, let’s assume for all the animals that we are dealing with the creme de la creme within the species (winners of heats within their kind), so we can take the top numbers for their suggested speeds from online resources.

The cheetah can run 100m in 5.95 seconds as shown in this video, with a maximum speed of 61 mph. Though I think he would gain about 0.2 seconds compared with Sarah’s slightly languid start, giving a time of 5.75 secs. The pronghorn antelope is a fraction slower (max speed 60 mph) and comes in at 5.85 secs.

The sailfish can dart at a speed of 68 miles per hour for 20 second bursts & is widely quoted as being capable of racing the 100m in 4.8 seconds! Although I can’t find much evidence of the analysis behind this.

The peregrine falcon is the one I’ve struggled with. It is known for its amazingly fast diving, reaching speeds of up to 200mph. It has an average horizontal flying speed of 40-56 mph and maximum horizontal flying speed of 60-68 mph according to wikipedia. I can’t work out what would be the fastest route to take to the finish line. He could fly straight and aim for that 68 mph top speed but he will take a while to get to that without gravity’s assistance. Assuming a similar acceleration to the cheetah, that would give him a time of 5.23 secs. The other option is to fly upwards at an angle and finish the race in a dive – if we assume he can fly upwards at 50 mph on a 45 degree angle and if we make several other wild and unjustified assumptions about the forces affecting his descent, then a 45 degree climb for 40m of track followed by a shallow dive for the last 60m brings him in at 5.46 secs. Slower, but traveling at 80 mph over the finish line. Might give the sailfish a run for his money in the 200m.

The lion trundles in at 7.02 seconds and the hare completes the line up at 7.35 secs.

So my rankings are :

1) Sailfish – 4.8 secs

2) Peregrine falcon – 5.23 secs

3) Cheetah – 5.75 secs

4) Pronghorn antelope – 5.85 secs

5) Lion – 7.02 secs

6) Hare – 7.35 secs

And there you have my highly dubious opinion on the 100m sprint outcome. Where do you disagree


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