Saturday, 14 May 2011

Running is in our DNA. Homo sapiens are born to run!

Ponder this - On our way to evolving where Homo sapiens (H) are today, we have basically survived because of one skill - running. We ran to hunt and survive. Neanderthals (N) became extinct but our species survived when the climate fluctuated some 30-50K yrs ago! Ns were too big to run for hunting; they would use their weaponry (in which they were ahead of H. sapiens) to hunt big kills such as the mammoth. 

When the "big chill" killed large species like the mammoth, N's food source dwindled. They were not suited to run like their H cousins who could run steady for hours - chase a deer until it looses its hoof out of exhaustion! It is that skill to run that saved our ancestors from being wiped out of the face of the planet. The Maasai in Kenya and Tanzania still hunt by exactly practicing this survival skill - running like hell - until the gazelle collapses out of exhaustion!! Fascinating, isn't it?

(Based on my recollection of the analysis on this topic in Chris McDougall's best seller Born to Run)

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