Runners speed dating
‘One shoves her companion to make her fall, and will even roll upon the ground with her.
Another strikes her neighbour in the side that she may thus, for a time, stop the breath of a dangerous rival.’ Related: From sole to soul mates - 4 running love stories In fact, such was the mayhem that the town clerk had to be deployed on horseback to follow the runners, brandishing a whip with which to break up the numerous fights that invariably broke out.
Yes, the local chaps would watch the races and keep an eye out for a potential Mrs Chap.
Entry to the races was restricted to young and unwed women – and sometimes being a virgin was also a requirement – and so it seems ‘smock races’ also served as a bizarre form of rural speed dating at which the menfolk would weigh up the physical attributes of the competitors.
And it’s nothing to do with bulging calf muscles, toned forearms or washboard abs.
The research was carried out by researchers from the University of Cambridge and University College London, who analysed 542 male competitors taking part in the Robin Hood Half Marathon and discovered that the better the runner, the more likely they were to have the opposite sex swooning at their feet.
The ladies of Markgröningen were delighted but it seems they took the event a touch too seriously and it frequently descended into a free-for-all.
4/ Fred Lorz’s fraud ‘I would prefer even to fail with honour than win by cheating,’ observed the Greek dramatist Sophocles.This means they not only have better cardiovascular efficiency but also a strong sex drive and high sperm count, suggesting that historically they were chosen by women as more desirable mates.Related: Long-distance running ability may be signal of desirable male genes ‘This may be because “persistence hunting” (exhausting prey by tirelessly tracking it) was a vital way to get food.To prove their manliness, they did this barefoot and the winner was crowned the Shepherd King.In the 1650s the menfolk deigned to let the women join in and the Shepherdess Race was born.