12

Data is an android, of course, so it stands to reason that he can run faster than the typical humanoids. Is there anything in canon (or otherwise) that speaks to this?

The only time I can recall Data running is in "Silicon Avatar."

9

Faster than humans or the Borg

PICARD: Stand by, Number One. Assuming that they're still together, how far could they have travelled in three hours?

LAFORGE: Well, Data can move pretty fast even over rough terrain, but based on what we know about the Borg, I don't think they should be able to move any faster than you or I. They might have been able to get fifteen or twenty kilometres from the shuttle by now.

Star Trek: The Next Generation, "The Descent, Part 1"

In this quote, Data is implicitly being contrasted with the Borg, who can't "move any faster than you or I." This suggests that Data is faster than the human norm.

Data also demonstrates superhuman speed (though not at running) when helping construct a model:

4

In the TNG episode, The Offspring, after trying to save Data's daughter Lal, Admiral Haftel remarked that Data's hands were moving so quickly that the admiral couldn't even see them. Just how quickly do hands have to be moving before they are faster than a blur, to the point you can no longer see them? Pretty damn fast. I would assume Data also has very fast legs but that still doesn't explain exactly how fast he can run. But if his legs were moving so quickly that you couldn't see them, he'd be running much faster than even Usain Bolt if we define Bolt as the pinnacle of human running speed.

  • Hmm, I wonder if Spock can run faster than Usain Bolt... – Molag Bal Jun 4 '16 at 4:40
  • Interesting thought. Spock would certainly beat Bolt in a marathon. – Ham Sandwich Jun 4 '16 at 6:09
3

While I agree Data should in theory be able to run very fast, I find it difficult to marry it with the available canon.

In Obie 2.0's answer, LaForge states

Data can move pretty fast even over rough terrain

At the start of Star Trek: Insurrection, this is exactly what he is doing, Although he is moving "pretty fast", it is comparable with the speed of a fit human.

and

Also in Star Trek: Nemesis, Data runs in order to launch himself off the Enterprise in order to save Picard, but again at perfectly human speeds:

  • There is one way to resolve the different canon evidence between LaForge's quote and the instances Data ran on screen: when Data was depicted running, he simply didn't or couldn't exert himself any more than he did. During Insurrection, Data was also malfunctioning and was in the process of reverting to default behaviors. It wouldn't be surprising if there were performance implications while that took place. And in Nemesis, it is entirely likely that going any faster would have meant Data misses the area with the airlock, sustains damage, or even bounces off of the ship. – Ellesedil Jun 22 '16 at 16:42
  • I wonder if Data "held his breath" or continued to emulate human breathing while floating in space... – iMerchant Jun 22 '16 at 22:21

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