World Record 100 x 1 mile Women, Masters

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The below listed story details the record breaking effort of a team of Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA) women this past August in the women's 100 x 1 mile relay. A team of HARRA master's (40 years of age and older) also ran a 100 x 1 mile relay and established a record for this new catagory.

All of the proper documentation was submitted to Guinness. We received confirmation from Guinness as to our new record in a letter dated 10 Februray 1997.

We will be attempting to break the men's 100 x 1 mile relay this summer.

HARRA Women Shatter World Record!

By Jerry L. Smith

HOUSTON, TEXAS: On Saturday, August 24, 1996 at The Cullen Track at Memorial Park, running in hot and muggy conditions, a team of 100 Houston Area Road Runners Association (HARRA) women broke the pending Guinness Book of World Records mark for the women's 100 x 1-mile relay. The rules of this competition require that 100 different women run 1 mile apiece, relay-style, on a measured track.

The HARRA team clocked an incredible time of 9:49:08, an average of 5:53 per mile in breaking the pending record by more than 25 minutes! The open team was anchored to victory by Joy Smith, past HARRA President and 2:34 marathoner, not to mention mother of a 9-week-old-baby and one of the driving forces behind the organization of the event. I don't know if this makes us the women's running capitol of the world, but it does show that we have a talented group of women runners in this area Smith said.

The current pending record of 10:14:16.9 was set on July 13, 1996 by the Syracuse Chargers. The current recognized world record of 10:15:29.5 was set in 1995 by the Dolphin South End Runners Club.

At the same time that the open team was setting their record, a team of HARRA master's women established a pending Guinness Book of World Records record for the masters women's 100 x 1-mile relay by running a 12:10:23, an average pace of 7:18 per mile. This was the first known time that a group women, all over the age of 40, had ran a 100 x 1 mile relay. The most amazing feat of all was just to be able to get 100 masters women that would run a mile on the track stated co-race director Chiquita Taylor. Taylor also ran the lead off mile for the master's team. The team was anchored to its record-setting performance by 65-year-old Sadie Greenman. Not only did Sadie anchor herteam to the world record performance but she had been at the track since 5 a.m. serving as chief volunteer in organizing the food and drink area for the runners and volunteers.

In addition to the two record-setting teams, HARRA fielded a third team of 100 women who competed the 100- mile extravaganza in 13:04:42 for an average pace of 7:51 per mile.

The Houston Road Runners Club first made an attempt to better the then world record time of 10:47 on April 30, 1977. That group of runners ran 12:08:15, short of the national record but a record for the Gulf Coast area. The race director for that event, Mary Ann McBrayer, was the official starter for the 1996 relay. One of the members of that 1977 team, Kathy Barton, also competed on the record-setting 1996 team.

It really brought the running community here together, and it was really a special feeling to be part of the team. That's a very unique opportunity in distance running. Normally we are all competitors against one another but today was different - we were teammates said Joy Smith. I think every runner felt a great sense of pride in having been selected to participate and then they really got caught up in the enthusiasm and emotion being generated throughout the day.

Additional interesting facts from the relay:
Fastest leg: 5:08 by 19-year-old Stacy Poole.

Youngest runners: 13-year-old's Bethany Brovey (6:16) & Gigi Rohmfeld (6:08)

Oldest runner: 46-year-old Karen Bowler (6:22)

Fastest "Team": Mallori Gibson's team of Rebecca Valdez, Theresa Fuqua,Kathy Barton, Donna Rickenbacker, Sharon Spuler, Martha Hilton, JacklynRzepecki, Melissa Hurta, Carol Anderson and Mallori Gibson averaged a blazing 5:40 per mile! Bridgette Degan's team of mostly Houston Harriers was close behind with a 5:41 average.

Collegiate Teams: Alexis Smith's group of 9 Rice Owls edged out Coach Theresa Fuqua's 9 U of H women. In a close contest the Owls averaged 5:40 per mile while the Cougars averaged 5:46 per mile. A big thanks to all ofthe collegiate women for their part in helping to break the record.

Fastest leg: 5:31 mile by 41-year-old Carole Smith

Oldest runner: 65-year-old Sadie Greenman (8:12 mile)

Top age-graded performance: 6:19 mile by 59-year-old Joyce Gaskin

Fastest "Team": Connie Lawrence's team of Kim Coe, Carole Smith, Donna Sterns, Mary Beaton, Janet Northrup, Carole Uttecht, Becky Duer, Rachel Hoffman, Jean Wrench-Soto and Deborah Hendrix averaged a fast 6:39 per mile. Close behind was Gail Sabanosh's team with an average of 6:42 per mile.

Fastest Leg: 5:28 mile by Sheila Madigan

Youngest runner: 10-year-old Jayde Gearing

Oldest runner: 61-year-old Ann Hibbert

Top age-graded performance: 7:08 mile by 57-year-old Susan Morrison

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