I came across this interesting article on Mental Floss that posed the question, “How far does Mario run in the original Super Mario Bros. game?”
Calculating Mario’s non-mushroomed height as that of a normal man, they determined that the route from the starting position to saving Princess Peach at the final castle, using no warp zones or bonus areas was…3.4 miles.
Really? That’s it? Then why does it take so freaking long to beat the game? I can run that in less than 40 minutes, and I am slow. Granted, I don’t have to stomp on goombas and avoid hammer brothers, but still. You’d think Mario would be faster than me. Even with the bonus areas, he only runs 3.7 miles. If you include the swimming levels, he swims an additional 476 meters total, including bonus areas.
According to a speed demos website, the fastest speed run of Super Mario Bros. including all levels and no warp zones is 19:40, which is 5:47 min/mi pace (or actually faster, considering that includes swimming levels and the time it takes to jump on a flag and go to the next screen). So maybe I am just slow in all areas of life.