It’s been now just over a full season since Henrik and Daniel Sedin announced their joint retirement from the NHL.
The twins skated their final outing with the Canucks boasting 1,300+ regular season NHL games apiece and over 1,000 points per brother, making them one of the most successful brother duos the NHL has ever seen.
It would stand to reason that, at now 39-years old with more mileage logged on their bodies than most NHLers could even dream of, the Sedins would be content to kick back and enjoy retirement with a nice cold one and their families at their sides.
Of course, anyone who expects that probably doesn’t know the Sedins very well.
On Sunday morning, Daniel Sedin got up and arrived at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands and ran 26.2 miles for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon. Oh, and he did it faster than most marathoners will ever manage to do it – on his very first try:
We congrats Daniel Sedin for running his 1st long-race, the TCS Amsterdam Marathon the other day. Only 2% of all marathoners ever runs a sub-3 Mara. Danny finished his first marathon race in 2.57… Simply amazing, if not unique. I am sure Henrik soon will try to match that. pic.twitter.com/1LravR2Ry9
— Claes Elefalk (@elefalk) October 24, 2019
For some perspective?
The average marathon runner finishes the 26.2-mile race in around four-and a half hours, with the average time for men falling just below that at 4:22:07 (a 9:59-minute mile pace) and the average time for women falling just above that at 4:47:40 (a 10:58-minute mile pace).
This, of course, encompasses all marathon finishers, which means that there are plenty of race participants who cross the finish line but do plenty of walking and very little training – but even when you account for what the average ‘frequent’ marathon runner aims for, Sedin still blew his contemporaries out of the water. For many marathoners, a ‘Boston Qualifier’ time is the benchmark for a successful run – and for men that’s a 3:00 full, while for women it’s a 3:30 full. It takes many runners dozens of marathons to achieve that – and even more never manage to hit that benchmark no matter how hard they try.
Sedin is still a ways away from the sport’s most elite finishers, of course. Ethiopian distance runner Degitu Azimeraw placed first among women with a course-record time of 2:19:26, while 29-year-old Kenyan runner Vincent Kipchumba paced the entire pack with his 2:07:39 finish. Sedin, in comparison, finished 662nd overall – an impressive outcome with 13,603 finishers, but far from the kind of result that suggests he’s headed for a distance running career now that his time in pro hockey is over.
Still, it’s a little staggering to think of just how elite his athleticism is with that kind of finish. His 4:13 km/min pace equated to a 21:31 5k time – which, for perspective, is still four minutes faster than I ran my 5k last year. And then he went on to run another 37 kilometers at the same pace.
In case any of us had forgotten that we’re not really worthy…. well, here’s our most recent reminder. Now all we need is for Henrik to complete his first marathon with an identical time to really have our proof – wherever the twins came from, it wasn’t the same planet as the rest of us.