Thursday, 5 April 2018

E is for Endurance Sports

2018 #AtoZchallenge participation badge
For my A-Z challenge this year I'm taking a look at Sports.  Olympic ones, ancient ones, weird ones and some just non sporting sports.  I'm not athletic or even particularly fit but some sports I enjoy watching and in composing my posts I've come across many that I've never heard of.  Join me in a  sporting journey from the comfort of your couch (or wherever else you're reading this) and thanks for stopping by.

Endurance sports are definitely not my thing!  The thought of doing anything physical for a great length of time does not appeal to me although I did take part in a half-marathon Moon Walk in aid of a Breast Cancer charity some years ago.  I even followed the training programme to prepare for it.  Not that it helped when returning to London's Hyde Park where the race started from and realising there was still over 2 miles to walk around the park before I could collapse! 

I'm proud of both my sons who have completed Marathons but my running days are definitely over.  I tried to complete a Couch to 5K app programme but my knees protested after about week 3, resulting in physio and the conclusion that I really should stick to walking.  Although I still prefer my couch!

Running is of course perhaps the most obvious endurance sport but swimming is another.  Swimming the English Channel is a well known endurance swim, the first observed and unassisted such crossing being made by Captain Matthew Webb across the Strait of Dover swimming from England to France in 21 hours and 45 minutes in 1875. 

Other sports that have endurance style events include rowing, cycling and skiing.  Historically Chariot Racing was considered an endurance sport.  It was definitely a dangerous sport with many drivers and or horses being killed as the chariots negotiated the turns at the ends of the course.

But the most bizarre endurance sport must surely be Wood Chopping.  Yes it really is a thing!

Despite E being the most common letter in the English language there aren't too many sports beginning with E.  Of course there is the Equine sports category which includes a number of different events and there are also Eskrima (another Filipino martial art) and Egyptian Stick Fencing (fencing with a stick I guess!) 

A more disturbing listing* was Elephant Polo.  Yes Polo but played on Elephants.  It's mainly played in Nepal, India and Thailand and is overseen by the World Elephant Polo Association. WEPA is responsible for enforcing strict rules regarding elephant welfare and game play although I was surprised to see that England and Scotland field teams.  This is definitely a sport that raises concerns about animal welfare.  PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have made various allegations that have led to sponsorship withdrawals and match cancellations.   The debate continues but I certainly wouldn't mind this sport becoming historical.  

* Most of my info originates from Wikipedia's List of Sports.  Unfortunately I didn't have access to a copy of the World Sports Encyclopedia which apparently lists over 8000 sports!


  1. Endurance... not for me either! LOL Now Equine sounds like fun!! You are doing good, Wendy!!

  2. ENDURANCE is not my bag of tea either! I have been enjoying reading
    your a to z challenge just been hectic and finally got a chance to stop by

  3. They have "iron man" contests here where they do such things as pulling train locomotives. Not for me. And as for endurance sports, the truth is I' ve got none.


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