An Olympic Runner and Pro Cyclist Squared Off in a Fitness Challenge

·2-min read
Photo credit: Nick Dolding - Getty Images
Photo credit: Nick Dolding - Getty Images

The ongoing animosity between runners and cyclists is deep-seated and well-documented; they're the Jets and Sharks of cardio, the Montagues and Capulets of endurance sports. OK, fine, so maybe things aren't that dramatic, but a new video on The Running Channel definitely amps up the rivalry as it sets out to determine once and for all who are the most formidable athletes: runners, or cyclists.

In the video, middle-distance runner Andy Baddeley, who represented Britain at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, challenge road racing cyclist Lawrence Carpenter to a competition where they will each show off their own respective skills and then attempt the other's sport.

A treadmill and stationary bike are set up side by side. Both men will start off on their strongest discipline, meaning Andy will begin with a 5-km run, while Lawrence will begin with a 16-km bike ride (the distances are calculated to last approximately the same length of time). After that, they will each switch to the other's discipline, where they expect their times to be noticeable worse. At the finish, the athlete with the fastest combined time will win the contest.

"I feel confident about the cycle," says Lawrence. "The run, however... Oh, boy."

Andy finishes his run first in 17:06, winning the first round, although he immediately expresses concerns about the inclines on the bike ride, having seen even cycling pro Lawrence struggle to finish in 22:27. "This is going to be a stitch-up," he says.

After a 15-minute rest period, both athletes switch places and take on the second, "weakest discipline" test. "It's a little bit scary," says Lawrence. "I don't know what is going to happen, but I'm going to give it my best shot... First ever time on a treadmill, pretty much."

Cycling novice Andy admits to going too hard too early on the bike, and his calf muscle cramps up midway through the race. "That is going to cost me," he says, getting off the bike for a short period before returning to try and make up some distance.

Lawrence ends up finishing first on the second round, running 5 km in 25:15, while Andy's bike ride lasted 31:45. As it's the fastest combined time that wins, Lawrence is the victor, with his total time of 47:42 just surpassing Andy's 48:51.

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