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What gets us moving: Fleet as the wind - Why we love to travel so fast

  Newsletter Article

Man has been looking for ways of getting from A to B as quickly as possible since the beginning of time. The myth of the runner who ran 25 miles to Athens following the Athenians' victory over the Persians at the Battle of Marathon, whereupon he promptly died of exhaustion after gasping out the words "we've won", is known throughout the world. Our modern-day 26-mile, 385-yard marathon is named after this myth.

Our ancestors continued using their feet to travel from A to B, but were always striving for more speed. According to historians, this urge led humans to discover horses as a means of transport in 3.500 BC. During the Industrial Revolution, technological innovation led to the invention of rail as a means of transport. In the last century, the surge in the popularity of the car led to an unprecedented freedom and speed of travel.

So, what do all these modes of travel have in common? One is that they still exist today! We humans are very conservative when it comes to moving on from concepts that work – even when better ones are already available. Many people consider riding in a horse-drawn carriage an extremely romantic mode of transport. Equestrian events are a top sport at the Olympics. Lovers and enthusiasts of antiquated locomotives can be seen frequently at shows admiring the objects of their passion. Running in its many different guises ranging from walking to jogging is one of the most popular sports around. 20 million Germans regularly go running. Many of them live in Karlsruhe, where runners on average run 152 miles a year, which is about as far as running from Ispringen to Koblenz.

And what about the car? The car is still the "darling" of every German, particularly when travelling between home and work. A car is a prestige object, the place where you had your first erotic experiences (the older you get, the more this fades into the background, unless you drive an estate), and can be found tearing around countless racetracks all over the planet.

Whether on foot or assisted by motor, people are constantly setting new records for getting from A to B as quickly as possible. Some records stubbornly refuse to be broken, however. This includes the marathon, where no one has managed to complete the distance in less than two hours so far. Closest to-date was Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 in Berlin who covered it in 2:02:57 hours.

The sporting goods manufacturer Nike, named after the Greek goddess of victory, may have felt destined to change all that owing to its name and association with the Battle of Marathon. This is why the Americans started project "Breaking2" where, at the beginning of May, three elite runners – Eluid Kipchoge from Kenya, Lelisa Desisa from Ethiopia and Zersenay Tadese – were asked to tackle the 26-mile, 385-yard marathon in under two hours on the Formula 1 circuit in the Italian city of Monza.

The US Company manufactured a shoe especially for the event with a carbon fiber sole that weighed just 184 grams. It was meant to give the runners 13 percent more energy than normal soles. But despite the high-tech shoe with the rather cumbersome name of "Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite", the attempt failed by a whisker. Kipchoge came in in 2:00:25 hours, which certainly placed the record under threat.

Since it opened in 1922, Monza, where the experiment took place, has stood for records and adrenaline, particularly in the automobile sector. The legendary French car maker Bugatti secured a position on the starting grid in the mid-1920s and succeeded in winning the Italian Grand Prix in 1926 and 1928. The Type35 models raced throughout Europe and clinched around 1,000 victories, which is a very impressive number. The cars designed by Ettore Bugatti were not being found just on the racetrack however: Jean Bugatti, second son of the company founder, journeyed in a Type43 from the company headquarters in Molsheim, Alsace to the capital Paris in 3:55:00 hours. Because of today’s toll roads and mile-long traffic jams which did not exist in the 1930s, this set a benchmark that even today's cars find it difficult to beat, including the highly advanced Bugatti Veyron.

Bugatti's meticulous workmanship led him to build cars which were capable of high-performance on both the track and the road, and which also set benchmarks when it comes to looks. He managed to combine performance and emotion as a result.

That is why at Rutronik24 we admire the French designer so much and feel drawn to the same ideals of wanting to do the best for our customers with passion, care, efficiency and hard work.