Excerpt from the book Sports the Olympics Forgot This book describes 40 sports that ought to be played but aren’t, because I made them up.


The record time for the race is 15 hours 43 minutes 39 seconds by the Egyptian Zardar el-Mubarak in 1978. He was a marathon runner by training and in that year the saltsea was filled with a few inches of water so most contestants discarded their bikes and ran most of the way.

El-Mubarak said of his race: “I was expecting a difficult race but the terrain was very energy sapping and so I had to carry a coconut with me at all times. Luckily, I enjoyed climbing trees as a child and this came in useful later in the race when I saw some date palms near the coast. They have so much sugar and this helped with the swim although I was nearly run over by the ferry from the mainland.”