I am listening to a podcast for learning Japanese and there is a story about a penguin in a zoo.

十分ぐらい前から ずっと おかしくて いきなり走り出しました
From(since) 10 minutes ago it was acting strange, [then] it suddenly took off running

Why is いきなり used here, when 走り出す is "to suddenly start running"? Or have I not understood いきなり / -出す?

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    It's pretty common for natural languages to have multiple words in a sentence that mean the same thing. – oals Sep 5 '16 at 15:19
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    Anyway, I suspect that the writer wanted to use the word いきなり and when it was time to pick the verb, he had to use 〜出す since いきなり走った sounds odd. IOW, the verb was chosen to agree with いきなり – oals Sep 6 '16 at 4:03

It's possible to ゆっくり(と) 走り出す

maesar.seesaa.net/article/388831885.html -- ‎日本時間 金曜の試合だったか豪快な からぶりのあと バットを短く持って左脇をしぼりこみ コンパクトに インパクトするような そんな仕草を見せた直後に 松井がヒットを打ったのは。 今日のホームランは完璧だったな。 打った瞬間に入ったと ゆっくり走り出す松井は ...

Book title: ゆっくりゆっくり歩きだす (ノベル倶楽部) | 渡辺 千代子 | 本 |

「Verb-出す」 -- Usually [suddenly], but more importantly [unexpectedly] to the observer. (or action that's spontaneous)

歩き始める is more intentional than 歩き出す

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