Fun (and Crazy) Ways To Run Yourself Into the Record Books
While we certainly don’t lack in consistency or passion, a 100m- or marathon world record will sadly never be in the cards for most of us. And although this thought can be rather sobering, it hasn’t stopped a group of creative, everyday runners from running their way straight into the world record books anyway.
So how did they do it? Easy. By coming up with the weirdest, wackiest ways of running and then making sure that they were either the first, or fastest, or most consistent ones doing it. Intrigued? Here’s a list of some of the crazy ways in which you, too, can potentially taste world record glory. Prepare to be amused!
Egg and spoon race, anyone?
If you’re the county’s undisputed egg and spoon racing champion, then this might be for you. On 23 April 1990, Dale Lyons of Meriden in the UK became the fastest man on the planet to complete a full marathon while carrying a fresh, uncooked egg in a dessert spoon. His finishing time? A respectable 3 hour 47 minutes.
And while beating Lyons’ record may seem like an easily achievable thing to do, the fact that it’s been standing for almost 30 years should convince you otherwise. So be sure not to put all your eggs in this basket.
Quantity over quality: The couples edition
If, on the other hand, quantity over quality is your thing, and you also happen to form part of a marathon-running power duo, why not try to beat David and Linda Major’s record of running 1,050 marathons together as a married couple? The Majors secured this Guinness World Record by completing the Riga Marathon in Latvia together on 15 May 2016, and, we’re pretty sure they can attest to a rock-solid marriage being a by-product of this record too.
So you’re a streaker?
Speaking of quantity, if you’re a running streaker who thinks that resting is for the birds, you might want to give this record clocked by the great Dr. Ron Hill a try. On 23 March 2005, Hill became the Guinness World Record holder for the greatest mileage run, daily, by a male athlete. His meticulous training logs, which he’s been keeping, without fail, since 3 September 1956, shows that he’s run a whopping 145,511 miles since that first training log entry up until record day. Which means that he’s clocked an astounding 250 miles per month, non-stop, for almost 50 consecutive years. Wow.
And while his running streak actually continued for three more years after that, we’re sure you’ll agree that these are some pretty big shoes to try and fill.
So multi-tasking is your game?
And if your hobbies go beyond just running, then the following record may be of interest to you. Have you ever faced the dilemma of having too many hobbies and not enough time to practice all of them? Guinness World Record holder, David Babcock, found himself in exactly the same position when he took up running and knitting in 2010. But, instead of giving up on one of these hobbies, he decided to combine them. Yes, running while knitting is actually a thing.
And while Babcock initially started this activity as a solution to his time-crunched problem, it eventually lead him to world record fame. On 19 October 2013, he officially bagged the record for the longest scarf knitted while running a marathon as he finished the Kansas City Marathon in 5:48:27. And the length of his scarf? An impressive 3.7 meters.
Higher grade multi-tasking
But don’t feel bad if the thought of tripping over wool strands or potentially being skewered by a knitting needle on the run puts you off. There’s a lot more multi-tasking-while-running ideas where that one came from.
Why not, like New Zealand‘s Blair Williamson, give your brain a proper workout and try to solve Rubik’s cubes while you run? Williamson solved a whopping 254 cubes while running the Christchurch International Marathon last year, an accomplishment that landed him a Guinness World Record in that category. An epic accomplishment if, like us, you struggle to solve even one of those buggers while sitting on a couch with nothing but a piece of dark chocolate to distract you.
Break a leg!
And last, but not least, if short-term record glory trumps your long-term goals of staying injury-free, then look no further than barefoot ice running. On 8 December 2006, Nico Surings from the Netherlands clocked the fastest 100 m barefoot ice-run to date. This feat cost him only 17.35 seconds of foot-freezing agony – a small price to pay for 11 years (and counting) of world record glory.
No, wait, there’s one more. If barefoot ice-running seems tame in your eyes and avoiding injury is really at the bottom of your priority list, you might want to follow in the footsteps of Zhang Jianjun. On 10 September 2014, Jianjun did the unthinkable by running through 22 consecutive panes of tempered glass. This record was achieved on the set of the CCTV-Guinness World Records Special in Xiamen, China and, yes, Jianjun lived to tell the tale. But, whatever you do, don’t try this at home, kids.
There’s hope for you yet
So if your running prime has come and gone without yielding any records of note, don’t fret. There’s hope for you yet. Just dust of that old banana/hot dog/Batman costume and make sure you’re the fastest foodstuff or superhero out there. Who knows, you may just be setting the benchmark for generations of weirdos to come!