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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Jan-18 > Worth A Mensen

Worth A Mensen

BRACE YOURSELF FOR A TALE BEYOND BELIEF. A TALE OF SUPER HUMAN ATHLETICISM; WAR; DISCOVERY; IMPERIALISM; MYTH; IMPRISONMENT; CIRCUSACTS; ANDWINE. A TALE NOT OF AN ENTIRE NATION OR ERA, BUT OF ONE MAN: MENSEN ERNST, 19TH CENTURY RUNNER EXTRAORDINAIRE

MENSEN ERNST

Moscow, 1832: Guards at the Kremlin are met with a peculiar sight
Battle of Navarino, 1827: Ernst goes to astonishing lengths to make his taper period more exciting

One morning late in June 1832, the guards at the Kremlin were met with a curious sight. A strangely attired man jogged up to the gate with a peculiarly long and loping gate. Compact and muscular, squat even, he was dressed in a white tunic and black trousers, topped off by a top hat accessorised with a large plume feather that bobbed comically as he ran. The guards took from his dishevelled appearance that he was a beggar, and despite his unintelligible protestations turned him away. Fortunately the man’s true identity was quickly established: this was the famed runner Mensen Ernst, who two weeks earlier had left Paris, having wagered that he could reach Moscow on foot in 15 days. In fact, he did it in 14 (the guards hadn’t expected him until the following day), having covered over 1,600 miles on poorly surfaced roads, swum 13 rivers and been locked up twice, firstly for being insane and then for suspected demonic possession. On the one occasion he escaped by climbing up a chimney, on the other he bet his captors he could outrun a horse, and scarpered in the opposite direction, or so the story goes. And these were by no means the most colourful episodes in the story of this particular madman.

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About Men's Running

Find your form with the January issue of Men’s Running. Much of our sport’s appeal is in its simplicity: stick on a pair of trainers and you’re good to go. If you’re serious about improving, however, it pays to tweak your technique. This issue is all about helping you do just that: from efficiency-improving tips from a world-renowned running specialist, to a firsthand look at a revolutionary new form of gait analysis. We’ve also got exclusive reviews of the latest stability shoe and top-to-toe kit suggestions for winter running, as well as the usual training advice, race reports, and nutrition know-how to help you run stronger than ever.