Can you run a five-minute mile? That’s 3:06 per kilometre pace. Last weekend, American runner Jeremy Greenwald ran even faster than that, posting a 4:52 mile. That’s quick, but nothing extraordinary. The real feat is in how he ran it. Greenwald didn’t go to the track for a regular time trial—he ran while wearing handcuffs behind his back. His time of 4:52 is a new world record for fastest mile while handcuffed, and while we don’t support breaking the law, we’re pretty sure that if he ever tries to run from the police after he’s been arrested and cuffed, he’ll probably get away.
Meet the cuffed runner
Greenwald ran at Georgia Tech University, a Division I school in Atlanta. In 2016, his senior season, he ran a school record of 8:03.13 in the 3,000m. He also boasts PBs of 1:49.47 in the 800m, 3:44.43 in the 1,500m and 14:11.27 for the 5,000m. His mile best is 4:01.85, and although he never managed to break the four-minute barrier, according to the Guinness World Records site, he is the first runner to go sub-five for the handcuffed mile.
To run a 4:52 mile, Greenwald had to hit some fast splits along the way. Granted, these times wouldn’t be too difficult for him on a normal run, but they’re still pretty fast, and they would leave plenty of people winded. His pace was 3:01 per kilometre, which works out to 2:26 for 800m and a 1:13 400m split. This brought him across the line well ahead of the previous record, which is listed as 6:37 on the Guinness site.
Handcuffed running: a dangerous game
Running with your hands behind your back might not sound all that difficult, but think about it—your arms provide balance, maintain your rhythm and help propel you forward. It might be easy enough to go for a jog with your arms behind your back, but going full-tilt is a different story. Plus, there’s a much bigger risk in handcuffed running, because if you trip (and that seems likely since you’ll be off-balance), you have nothing to catch your fall other than your face and torso. Not fun.