In 2009, world-famous runner Usain Bolt set the current record for the fastest time achieved by a human in the 100-meter dash, covering the distance in 9.58 seconds. Now it appears that 2020 is the year the record has been broken, if Britney Spears is to be believed: On Instagram yesterday, she posted a screenshot of a stopwatch app that reads 5.97 seconds, which she says is how fast she ran the 100-meter dash. That bests Bolt’s time by four seconds.
Spears captioned the post, “Ran my first 5 !!!! Getting over your fear of pushing it in the beginning is key …. once I did that I hit 5 !!!!! Usually I run 6 or 7 …. my first try was 9 …. and now I did it whoop !!!!! 100 meter dash !!!!!”
If that number is accurate (which is certainly is not), it would seem that either Spears is the fastest human in recorded history, she ran the 100-meter down the side of a cliff, or she is perhaps confusing meters for feet. The latter point would certainly make more sense. The 100-meter dash is about about 328 feet, so, if Spears kept up her 100-foot pace for the remaining distance of an actually-100-meter dash, her time would be around 19.58 seconds.
For reference, in 2012, Sarah, a cheetah from the Cincinnati Zoo who was known as the world’s fastest of her kind, was recorded running 100 meters in 5.95 seconds, which is virtually identical to Spears’ reported time.
The Telegraph previously noted the average woman jogs at about 6.5 miles per hour, which would be good for a 34-second 100-meter dash. They also noted that the qualifying time for the women’s 100-meter race in the London 2012 Olympics was 11.29 seconds, so it feels safe to assume that Spears’ actual 100-meter dash time would fall somewhere between those two numbers. That didn’t stop somebody on Wikipedia from having fun with Spears’ claim, though: