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Poll: Are East Africans the Superior Race as Marathon Runners?

Boston looms Monday; book called “Taboo” once broached the subject of racial advantages.

Runners from all over the world—including hundreds from San Diego County (search here)—will cover 26.2 miles Monday morning in the 116th edition of the Boston Marathon. The elite fields are mainly Kenyans and Ethiopians.

The chances are great that men and women with East African roots will win the race. Again.

Some ask: Why the dominance?

A dozen years ago, Jon Entine tried to answer in his book Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It. Cultural factors are often given for East African dominance in distance running. But Entine posits racial ones as well. Are white runners doomed forever to take a back seat at Boston?

juma dark April 13, 2012 at 06:34 PM
kenyan runners are exclusively tha best marathonians known in tha world.we may not av the best training grounds and facilities ,but we surely have the heart to take on the other runners world wide.Now thats a virtue. juma dark
Jon Entine April 14, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Of course! I wrote the book on this: Taboo. There has been lots of commentary on it, and I've posted all the articles I could find at jonentine.com. But I can say there is zero controversy about this among geneticists or anthropologists. Evolution shapes body types, and cultural/enviornmental factors exaggerate even the smallest biologically based differences.
Jerome from Layton April 15, 2012 at 05:55 AM
Used to be that Eastern Europeans dominated basketball, about seventy years ago when I was very young. Then, long limbed blacks got in and never looked back. A medical researcher was trying to figure out why Masai lived so well on a diet the AHA was convinced that it would plug their arteries. So, he brought in a treadmill to find out. First, his test subjects tested out "off the charts". Second, other people trotted in from miles around to try it out. Finally, his biggest problem was getting them to get off and let the others have a turn! Ever try herding cattle on foot? This is what they have done for generations; so, chalk this one up to natural selection.

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