Last week, a very interesting thread popped up on LetsRun and it questioned the age of 2016 U.S. Olympian Ben Blankenship.
Here’s what it said:
“So in a recent Letsrun interview, Ben Blankenship says “He is old now…30”. But none of the information found on the Interwebs indicates that Blankenship is his stated age…
His Wikipedia page says he was born on Dec 15, 1989.
Bring Back the Mile says he was born in Dec 19, 1989.
His IAAF profile says he was born in Dec 15, 1988.
Team USA page says he was born on Dec 15, 1988.
Olympic page says he was born on Dec 15, 1988.
Runner’s World article dated April 26, 2013, says that he is 23, which would indicated a 1989 birthdate and would only be 28 years old now.
So Ben, how old are you?
So we put it up to our panel of experts on the pilot episode of Running Things Considered, our new bi-weekly podcast in which runners can call in and leave us a wild story or question to discuss on the show. Here’s the theory that our panelist Ryan Sterner, Stephen Kersh and Thoms Heynk came up with:
You can listen to the podcast below. The Ben Blankenship discussion begins at the 2:04 mark:
Ryan: I was looking through this post and it’s so specific in the articles that they’re citing and seemingly obscure and I feel like there could be only one person that posted this. And that’s Ben Blankenship himself.
Stephen: I thought we all agreed that we didn’t know how old he was. He was just that person, at least in my life, where he’s always looked around 29 or 30. I remember I saw him around Hayward Field when I was a sophomore in college and I had no idea who this person was but I assumed he was a 29-year-old and I’ve kept assuming that. I thought we all just came to a conclusion that this dude is a weird age. Is there some sort of character that’s stuck in an age?
Ryan: Benjamin Button.
Stephen: No, you idiot. He goes back.
Ryan: It’s Peter Pan the perpetual child.
Stephen: Peter Pan! Ben Blankenship is Peter Pan.
Ryan: Also, I don’t think this really matters, right? We’re debating whether he was born in 1988 or 1989. That’s the difference of one year.
Stephen: Either way, he’s a Gemini. No one is disputing that. Your Zodiac sign determines who you are as a person.
Ryan: No, you idiot, he’s a sagittarius. Learn your Zodiac calendar.
Thoms: I think I know what happened because I thought about this a lot. The public library that I’m at doesn’t let me go on LetsRun so I’m going to go off memory of the thread here. The debate is between ’88 and ’89. So, if you go to his bio page for Minnesota, it says ’89. If you go to his page for Mississippi State, it doesn’t give a year. I think because of the transfer, someone thought that he was a year younger than he actually was.
Ryan: Wait…What about Mississippi State? What’s that all about?
Thoms: Ben Blankenship ran at Mississippi State before he ran at Minnesota.
Ryan: That can’t be true! Alright, I’m sorry. I don’t know if I believe you but go on.
Thoms: You should believe me. Mississippi State has no financial benefit in lying that Ben Blankenship ran for them. The picture of Ben Blankenship on the Mississippi State website is pretty bad so maybe that’s why he ignores it.
Stephen: Oh my God!
Stephen: Wait, it says Dec. 15.
Thoms: But it doesn’t give a year. I think that whoever was the SID at Minnesota just assumed that he was a year younger than he was because he was a freshman but he was a redshirt so they put ’89. I think he was born ’88.
Ryan: You’re saying his birthday is 1988. So he graduated high school in 2007? Meaning that if he was born in ’88 then he would’ve been 18 when he graduated, which makes sense.
Thoms: If he was born in December of 1989 then he would’ve graduated in 2008 because that’s still within the cutoff. I don’t know why Bring Back the Mile has Dec. 19, 1989 because that’s way out there. Is the difference between December 19th and December 15th a proportional distance between 1600 meters and 1609 meters and this is just a thematical thing they do?
Ryan: That’s so dumb. I hope you’re right.
On Sunday, Blankenship finished second in the men’s 1,500 meters at the USATF Indoor Championships. He mentioned being 38 years old. OK, now he’s trolling us.
Check out the :44 second mark
He ended the interview by dodging the LetsRun question and said, “You’ll just have to find it out on my tombstone.”
If in fact Blankenship is fucking with us. He’s doing a great job. His Wikipedia page now reads:
The Wikipedia edit history shows changes have been made over the past few days.
Citwit Dayton in New York texted us a screenshot of his Google result that currently shows up.
That would make him 46 years old right now. What the fuck is going on.