All of the training paid off, we were able to finish with an official completion time of 4:53:33, which was 10 minutes faster than the previous record! We can honestly say this was one of the best experiences of our running career, to be running with folks in another Country and have them waiving and reacting to our costume while running. Some of our favorite memories of the run:
Mile 14 is where things got real. There was a lot of pain, and the reality of having to finish 10 more miles to go
Run/Walk schedule was important for this marathon, it’s difficult to run so close together
The look on the little kids faces when they saw the caterpillar comping up! Some of them just lost it and started dancing around and waiving their hands!
Crowds. The fine folks of Berlin at every corner of the run cheering us on.
Running into other runners from home, making it feel like such a small world.
We’re blessed to have had such a wonderful experience at the 2017 Berlin Marathon. Thank you to all of our friends and family that have helped us out along the way, our crazy Dog Haus Run Club and everyone else who thought we could pull off this whacky run record.
Pre-race check in with the Guinness World Record Team
After arriving in Berlin, the team put the final touches on the caterpillar to make sureit would look it’s best from every angle. We then headed out to the Race Expo to meet the folks from the Guinness World Records, who were there to take some photos of all the record attempts for the Berlin Marathon, check our costumes and answer any questions about ensuring our attempt is within guidelines. Check out our video of the pre-race here:
Race day at the Berlin Marathon
Hailing from California where temperatures can reach up to 85F/30C during the run, we were accustomed to early starts for the Marathon (7AM). Luckily for us the marathon did not start until 10AM, which gave us plenty of time to eat and board the subway to the start to the race. Walking in costume all the way to the start line proved to be difficult, not just the walking part – but we were not prepared for the amount of attention our costume would generate. We would be walking and taking selfie’s with people along the streets and subway, in fact, we even ran into some folks from Southern California along the way. Check out the entire entry below for the walk and actual run during the marathon:
First day in Berlin! The entire RADepilliar team & support crew landed and checked into our AirBnB. After quickly dropping off our luggage, we went straight to the Berlin Marathon Expo. It’s our first time running a marathon outside of the United States – a real treat for us. Also found this really cool little German pub to round of the night.
In order to give breaking the current Guinness World Record (4 person marathon in a costume [previous time was 5:10]) a try, a few training runs would be required to work out the kinks of the costume. The real challenge here was keeping all 4 teammates training for running a regular marathon, and making time to try out these test costume runs. Everyone’s schedules were erratic, so we would frequently have to swap out runners for other friends that were crazy enough to run with us.
Luckily the 4 of us were already accustomed to a marathon training schedules, so it would be a matter of incorporating some mileage in with the costume on. We would run our normal weekly workouts, and on the weekends we would throw in a few miles with the costume during the long runs:
3 mile short run- prototype run
8 mile long run – 6 miles regular, 3 miles in costume
16 mile long run – 8 miles in costume, followed by 8 miles regular run
3 mile short run – dress rehearsal before the marathon
1 mile test run – day before the Berlin Marathon (make sure the thing didn’t fall apart!)
Total training miles while in costume: 19miles (~30k)
We definitely got some funny looks running around, especially during a training run around the Rose Bowl where one of the eyeballs fell off! We learned to not use hot glue gun in California weather races, and fixed this with the help of liquid nails. A few lessons learned we gained from the training runs:
Backpacks – Good for distributing the weight of the costume
Modify the suspenders to be shorter
Running cadence, we found a way to “sync” up our feet if we kicked each other too much
Hot glue gun isn’t strong enough (use liquid nails) for running costumes
All in all, the hardest part was trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules and get a few good runs in.
How do you actually apply for a Guinness World Record attempt?
We weren’t sure where to start but we did a Google search to see what the current record was for this record, and stumbled upon a write up about a group of 4 that had run the London Marathon as a fire truck in 05:20. Since we can all run a sub 4 marathon, we thought this attempt would be within our reach and got to work on the application process.
Application starts with creating an account at Guinnessworldrecords.com. Once you have an account created you are able to do a comprehensive search of all current record holders. In order to apply we found the name of the record and put in our official application. We had to specify which Marathon, goal time, and persons on the team.
Note: You cannot attempt record without an approval from the GWR first. Build in extra time to allow for them to review and approve your attempt.
Once our application was reviewed by GWR, it proceeded to the next phase where we were given a list of criteria that must be followed in order to break the record (i.e. Costume must be carried by team, restroom break guidelines, etc). In order to get fully approved for the attempt, we also had to submit finished photos of the costume to ensure it’s instantly recognizable as a costume during the race. Our original attempt was sent back to us, and that’s where we spent a little more time to work on the stripes and put the antenna onto the RADepillar.