Sooner or later we’re all going to be replaced by machines, so as humans we continually try to prove our superiority.
Such was the case at the Brussels Diamond League meet on Friday, when Kenyan runner Nicholas Kipkoech lined up for a 600-meter race against a solar-powered car in front of a packed stadium.
You’d think a car would have no problem beating a human — even a world-class runner like Kipkoech — but the race actually turned out to be much more thrilling than you might expect.
Kipkoech got off to a huge early lead. Why? Well, technically the car hadn’t started moving yet. At this point everyone’s thinking, “OK, it’s rigged. The car doesn’t actually work. Somebody removed the wheels. Human intellect prevails once again.”
Slowly but surely, however, the car starts to reach its peak speed. Just around the final turn Kipkoech can hear the silent assassin creeping and threatening to overtake him.
It was the beginning of the end for humanity. You can watch the final disappointment below.
It’s probably the worst way you can lose to a car — building supreme confidence with a huge lead before watching the machine blaze past you and coming to the realization of, “Oh yeah, that’s a car. I’m a mere mortal.”
The car, driven by Bert Longin, ended up winning by 3.53 seconds in a time of 1:13.17, which is actually short of the human 600-meter record of 1:12.81 set by American Johnny Gray.
Despite the loss, Kipkoech was in high spirits after the race.
“It was strange to compete in this race but funny at the same time,” Kipkoech said, according to the IAAF. “I was pleased to have been chosen because it was something new, never done before. I knew the car wasn’t fast in the beginning but felt it was coming too quickly at the end. Losing was not a problem for me: I took a lot of fun and I’m on the podium!”
That’s great, Nicholas. It’s all fine and dandy until you come home and your son is in the backyard playing catch with a solar-powered car instead of his old man.
Wink of the CBS eye to NBC Sports
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / WATCH: This is what happens when a man races a solar-powered, futuristic car