Is Santa a runner?

If there’s one thing who’s running a lot these days, it’s Santa Claus…
But the point is: does Sant Claus exist?
And if so, what is his PB on a 10K?

Let’s take a look and talk about figures, numbers and assumptions.

378 million children

There are about 2 billion children on earth, but only 15% are Christian, so Santa has 378 million customers.

  • 3.5 children per household.
  • Only 1 kind child per household, which is not certain…
  • 108 million homes to visit
  • 31 hours. Yes, if you take into consideration the rotation of the earth and the different time zones, Santa’s day can last 31 hours.
  • 967.7 homes per second.

1 thousandth of a second per home to : park the sleigh, jump out, run up to the roof, tumble down the chimney, fill the socks, put the presents at the foot of the tree, eat the few treats left for him, climb back up the chimney (and after the treats it’s less and less easy), jump off the roof, climb out of the hole in the snow, run to the sleigh, and move on to the next house, 1.4km away (assuming that the 108 million households are evenly distributed over the entire surface of the earth).

Less than one thousandth of a second per kilometer.

That’s how fast Santa runs, which is not taht bad for an old fat man wearing a fur coat and big boots.

150 million kilometers, to do the whole tour, including refuelling, selfies, and pee breaks, in 31 hours.

That’s 1,170 km/second.

The average reindeer can run at its best at 27 km/h, slightly faster than a Kenyan marathon runner.

Who is not carrying gifts.

1kg per gift, i.e. a pair of running shoes, an energy drink and a few bars.

That’s a total of 500,000 tons of gifts to carry.

On Earth, a conventional reindeer cannot pull more than 150kg, which is just about the weight of Santa himself. Assuming that the famous “flying reindeer” is ten times more powerful, 360,000 reindeer are needed to pull the sleigh, which adds 54,000 tons to the payload moved.

With 360,000 reindeers harnessed in pairs, the whole herd is 540km long (Geneva-Paris), plus the sledge.

This makes almost 600,000 tons travelling at 1,170 kilometers per second, obviously creating enormous air resistance: the herd heats up like a spacecraft re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, or a marathon runner hitting the wall, i.e., all red.

The two reindeer at the head of the convoy then absorb a heat energy of 14.3 billion joules per second: they instantly burst into flames, dangerously exposing the next two reindeer. The entire 360,000 reindeer crew (540km long) is completely vaporised in 4.26 milliseconds

Just enough time for Santa to reach the 5th house on his tour.  

Santa undergoes accelerations of up to 17,500 G, going from 0 to 1,170 km/sec in one thousandth of a second,

And a 125 kilo Santa (which seems ridiculously thin) is thus slammed into the bottom of the sleigh by a 2,187 ton force, which would instantly crush his belly, bones, organs, beard and red hat, reducing him to a quivering pile of pink flesh…

Like when you hit the wall before the 30th km…

So, even if Santa Claus runs really fast, now… he’s dead.

PS: if you are less in a hurry than him and you prefer to enjoy the scenery when you run, there are dozens of urbirun downloadable self-audioguided tours, to give you an eyeful… and you don’t need to have reindeers… it’s here, click: urbirun, where do you want to run?

NB : This demonstration is not mine. It was received in the 20th century, that’s to say how old it is, and has been a little re-adapted (and the scientific calculations are not mine (I would not be able of doing so, and I take no responsibility for it).


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