Why are humans good long distance runners?

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By todaybreakingnews.org

Death Valley’s Badwater 135 is said to be the world’s most extreme footrace, traversing 135 miles (217 kilometers) from the lowest elevation in North America to the highest elevation in the continental United States. On top of that, it’s held in July, when temperatures along the route can rise above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius).

Very few animals on Earth could survive such a romp, and yet, roughly 100 people sign up each year to pit their strength and endurance against the harshness of the desert. Distance running, it turns out, is where humans excel compared with other species, even if our two-leggedness makes us about half as fast as other mammals of similar size, on average. People have successfully outrun many species over distance that would otherwise smoke us in a sprint, including dogs, horses and cheetahs.

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