This weekend the Charlotte Running Club attempted to break the existing 100 x 5k World Record of 37 hours, 12 minutes, and 53 seconds. After a few months of planning, 100 speedsters were signed up, with 15 more ready to go as subs. The weather decided not to cooperate, so for the vast majority of the 30 hours, 56 minutes and 49 seconds it took to set a new record, runners and some brave fans dealt with pouring rain and frigid temperatures. Despite Mother Nature’s best effort this the previous record was smashed by over six hours and now all that is left is for the Guinness people to process the evidence, which may take a while. Oh well, untill someone tells me otherwise I consider my self 1% of a world record holder.
The relay began at 6:06am on Saturday morning at Providence Day School. The super fast Hovii (i.e. Ben and Megan Hovis) started things off on the right foot with a 16:04 and a 17:48. Not shabby. I was leg 53 or so and ran at about 9:45pm on Saturday night. I arrived at 5:45pm to start my shift as a “captain” with Adam Mayes. All of our runners arrived on time, so there wasn’t much to do except count laps, cheer, and try to stay warm and dry. The latter two were impossible. The rain stopped for my leg, which I ran in 16:54, but started back up right when I went to cool down, so I bailed on that and instead watched Bobby Aswell run his second 5k of the day, this time in absolutely pouring rain.
I have had reoccurring issues with my right calf/achilles so I didn’t mind cutting the cool down. I was hoping to be able to get a lot of miles in while cheering but in my warm up I felt my calf letting me know it wasn’t happy. I have learned there is a very fine line between being OK and being is severe pain so I took it easy. I had asked Aaron if there was anyone available as a sub, he said there was but there certainly didn’t appear to be anyone actually at the track
and I selfishly wanted to be apart of the record, so I rolled the dice.
I started pretty relaxed and ran fairly even. About half way through I realized I was on pace for sub 17, so I concerntrated on that and the enthusiastic cheers of the wet club members around the track. I was pretty happy with my time considering the weather, time of day, the stair climb and the fact that I was solo on the track.
The entire experience was great. Aaron Linz set a new 5k pr during his leg and then stayed through the night to help out. Emily Barrett was there for over 24 hours helping out before her leg. Ben Hovis did an outstanding job of setting everything up, and of course, running a fast 5k at 6am. They made it so that the running was the easy part.
Earlier on Saturday, I participated in the first Duke Energy Tower Race to the Top. It was a 1,194 step run up. Participants were set into 10 waves of 50 racers and sent off every 15 seconds. Fellow One2Tri Racing teammate, Keith Mrochek, and I had a friendly competition going to see who would be faster. It was friendly mostly because I was pretty sure Keith would be faster. He lives on the stepmill at the gym, going paces normal people don’t know exist.
My enthusiasm and Keith's knowing smile.
Not a good decision to have him directly behind me.
He also enjoys trail/mountain running in the worst conditions possible. So running upstairs as fast as possible sounded right up his alley. In the end, I was 6th overall in 7:57. Keith tactically started right behind me, pushed past me early, and finished ahead of me in 7:36 for 3rd overall. Local distance monster, Michael Creason, put us all to shame with his 7:29.
My lungs still hurt two days later thanks to the dry air in the stairwell, but it was a fun event. One2Tri Racing teammate, Michael Beacham, did a great job conceiving and organizing the race. I wish he was with us racing in the stairwell even if it would have cost me another spot in the overall results.
One last shout out: how great is Great Harvest Bread? Very Very VERY Great! Seriously, if you have been to race where they are you know what I am talking about. They were at the run up and I had a sample slice of whole grain cinnamon chip w/ honey! Not only is the bread fantastic, but you will never find folks more excited to cut you a slice, and thank YOU for coming out. They are huge supporters of events in Charlotte and their support and quality product deserve our support in response. Go pick up a loaf and if you haven’t had one of their sandwiches, Danielle and I recommend the Queen City favorite!
Great Harvest Bread!
Overall, it was a pretty good Saturday.