Race #281 – Huntersville 5k – World Record Tether Run – Huntersville, NC – 12/13/14

It was my slowest 5k ever, but all for a good cause. According to organizer and Charlotte Running Club president Bill Shires, the world record for the most people tethered together for a 5k race was 116. That was a record Bill was confident we could break and he spent several months planning a strategy and gathering people to run. There wasn’t a time requirement but it was imperative that everybody stayed tied together until every runner crossed the finish line.

With the great organization and pre-planning we easily broke the record with 178 runners crossing the finish line. We were all tethered together with a system of bungee cords that was well thought out, and the biggest challenge was being sure that nobody tripped or  came loose from the tether system. Any disconnection at all by any runner would have disqualified us.

Of course, the speed was dictated by the slowest runner. I was in the front row and everybody up there was wishing we could go a little faster, but there were one or two runners farther back who had a hard time keeping up so we would walk whenever we had to. My final time of 43:13 landed me in 10th place out of 13 in the age group but it was the first time I had run a race where there was really no pressure at all to be fast and it was a lot of fun to hang with a group of almost 200 people throughout.

All of the information is being submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records and hopefully we’ll make it into the record books!

Click Here for Race Results

Official Race Photos:

Click Here for Race Website

Bill Shires, president of the Charlotte Running Club, was the brains behind the world record attempt.
Running friends Bob Nelson, Rick Gagnon, Butch Holt, and me.
Getting tethered together before the race.

With running friend and fast chick Sharon Davis.
We ran the Ugly Sweater 12-mile unsanctioned race the following day together
as a tempo run at a 7:30 pace and she was the 1st overall female.
A bunch of friends from the Gaston County Runners helped set the new world record
including 8-year-old Martin Inman, who is quickly becoming a fast runner like his dad Andy.

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* RACE RATING *
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RACE COURSE
3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
4 – Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
7 – Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

REGISTRATION
2 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

RESULTS
2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

AGE GROUPS
2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

AWARDS
5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals (HM only)

POST RACE
7 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

REST ROOMS
2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

T-SHIRTS
2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

PHOTOGRAPHY
5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
0 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

PARKING
2 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no

OTHER
0 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
5 – Swag: (0)no  (2)yes, some  (5)excellent (Hoodie for HM runners)
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
0 – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  100

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