Let’s do some math here: My wife just ran the N.Y. marathon along with 52,000 other people. Let’s say she burned 2,000 calories (dietary calories are really kilocalories), which would be high. That makes approximately 100,000,000 kcal, or 116,222 kilowatt hours. According to this site: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=667&t=2 that is the equivalent energy of about 63 tons of coal.
People Calories Burned (kcal) Total kCal killoWatt Hour per kCal Total energy (kWatt Hrs) kwHr / ton of coal Tons of coal
52,000 2,000 104000000 0.00116222 120870.88 1,927 62.72489881
I seriously doubt we can solve the worlds energy problems by having 52,000 people exhaust themselves for the equivalent of 63 tons of coal. Coal costs about $50 per ton, transported. This makes a total cost of about $3100. In other words, 52,000 people running for 4 hours can produce about $3100 worth of energy, or about $0.06 per person. We must understand that human beings just cannot produce energy on the scale of the energy requirements of the modern world. Even in the ancient world, beasts of burden were used for plowing and cartage for a good reason. I believe mental energy spent trying to solve the world’s energy problem is better spent trying to use existing energy resources more efficiently than attempting to harness human energy.