I just got an email from one of my teammates at Dirigo, Peter Hall. He is interested in reading Coast to Coast, a book about my former teammates who set the transcontinental relay record in running from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Pete pointed out to me, however, that the record that they were shooting for was not in fact the record anymore.
I was surprised to read that the trans-america relay run record that RIT set in 1979 referred to as the record; it is not. In 1983 I was on a team called “Team St. Lawrence” which set the record, over I believe the same route, in 12 days 1 hour and 35 minutes. Our run would appear to still be the existing transamerica world record by 2 hours and 13 minutes over the 2004 RIT team time of 12 days 3 hours 48 minutes.
I was not aware that St. Lawrence had even attempted the relay 4 years after RIT. The Guinness book of world records apparently believes that living a lifestyle where you can become too obese to get out of your own chair or leave your home is safer than running down a road, so they no longer listed the record by the time I first heard about it in 1998.
Of the guys that ran in 2004, none of them were older than 2 or 3 years old when Pete and his team ran, if they had even been born yet. RIT will be trying again in 2029, so hopefully they will have their sites set on setting a new record then. Those runners still have a few years before they are even born, however.
You can download a PDF of press clippings from Team St. Lawrence’s record setting relay by clicking on the image at the top of this article. The file size is about 3.5 megabytes.