The 62 runners who roped together for Jenny Crain and the Lakefront Marathon did a little victory dance this morning.
The Guinness Book of World Records certified their effort as the new mark for runners to complete a marathon while linked together, through all 26.2 miles and every bathroom break.
Led by Robin Gohsman and Briana Boehmer, the group beat the previous record of 54, and did it significantly faster. They crossed the line in Veteran’s Park on Oct. 2, in six hours, 20 minutes, after a nerve-wracking struggle to beat the time clock and cramps in the final nine miles.
Gohsman called the runners on Team Jennipede a group “linked by a rope and a community of purpose.”
Team Jennipede trains in advance of the 2011 Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon.
Journal Sentinel photo by Gary Porter.
They raised more than $116,000 for Crain’s rehabilitation from the injuries she suffered when a car hit her on a Milwaukee street on Aug. 27, 2007. At the time, Crain was near the end of a run, part of her training to qualify for the 2008 Olympics.
Supporting the elite athlete, a mentor and inspiration for local runners, was always more important than the Guinness Record, Boehmer said Tuesday.
Meeting the dedicated athletes and training with them for a combined 30,000 miles were the additional rewards, beyond raising money for Crain, she said.
Still, Boehmer admitted she danced a bit in celebration when word arrived that the group had put the icing on the cake.
“We’ve been waiting and waiting” for the official certification, she said.
She likened it to a gold medal, a tangible proof of the athletes’ dedication and determination.
In his congratulatory email to the team, Gohsman wrote: "the Jennipedes and Milwaukee are the epicenter of the running world and will forever be memorialized as the coolest hook-up ever!
"There are too many people to mention and thank for their help and support; but hey, how about a special shout out for Kris Hinrichs, Coach Bri, Donna Crain, Lezlee Foy, Bart Yasso, Greg Phelps and Mike Foy? And of course, our inspiration, motivation and raison d’etre, Jenny Crain. We love you Jenny and are honored and privileged to share this World Record with you!"