Saturday, May 5, 2007

Wardian, Pierce go for stroller-pushing record

Michal and Annika celebrate their Guinness World Record at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2004. This photo, taken by race staff, was printed on page 220 of the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records.

As reported in yesterday's post, my Guinness World Record for the "fastest time to run a marathon while pushing a pram" (I actually consider this record more Annika's than mine) will likely be broken tomorrow.

U.S. marathoner Michael Wardian, who has a marathon personal-best of 2:21, will be pushing his nine-month-old son Pierce in tomorrow's Frederick Marathon in Virginia.

Wardian's marathon PB is nine minutes faster than mine, plus I don't think that 2:21 reflects his full potential, based on the fact that he tends to run several marathons back to back, rather than the usual two or three per year favoured by most elites. I predict he stroll past the line in the 2:33-2:35 range. I think I was in about 2:32 shape when I ran my record of 2:49, and I also ran an extra 800m or so because of a course turnaround mix-up (the guy at the turnaround point was apparently off taking a leak when Annika and I got there). Annika was 20 months old when I pushed her, so he'll also have a weight advantage that might save a few minutes.

But the record is certainly not a given because so much rides on the kid staying put in that seat for two or three hours. If little Pierce decides to throw a hairy fit at 15 miles, or has some serious diaper issues, Wardian could lose a big chunk of time, or be forced to pull out altogether. I'm assuming he has done several long runs with his son and is confident in his ability to stay put. Nothing is guaranteed, though, when it comes to babies temperaments.

I wish Mike and Pierce all the best. Go for it guys!