Christian PetersenGetty Photos
- On August 23, former skilled 800-meter runner Nick Symmonds ran a mile whereas dribbling a basketball in 5:29, which is the quickest identified time for that problem.
- One week prior, Symmonds additionally ran the quickest identified time for 100 meters sporting ski boots, 13.71 seconds.
Ever since two-time Olympic 800 meter runner Nick Symmonds, 35, retired from skilled working in 2017, he has stored himself busy checking off powerful—and generally wacky—athletic challenges in his free time.
Final yr, he introduced that he wished to develop into the primary man in historical past to run a sub-Four minute mile and summit Everest. Then earlier this month, he ran the quickest identified 100 meters run sporting ski boots, ending in 13.71 seconds (the earlier file was 14.09). Whereas summiting Everest continues to be on the bucket listing, his most up-to-date problem was a job most of us can relate to: working whereas dribbling a basketball.
On August 23, he set the quickest identified file for a mile run mile whereas dribbling, ending the space in 5:29 at a observe close to his house in Oregon. That point beats the official present Guinness file set by North Carolina’s Colin Shaver in Might 2018, 6:57, by almost a minute and a half. Nevertheless, the time Symmonds was actually making an attempt to beat, he mentioned, was the 6:06 mile his brother, AJ Lapray, ran beforehand whereas dribbling a basketball.
Whereas a 5:29 mile tempo isn’t too demanding for Symmonds, who holds a private greatest mile time of three:59, dribbling a basketball whereas hitting that velocity wasn’t simple. He advised Runner’s World that as an alternative of working a clean, regular tempo, he needed to surge with the ball when it bounced forward.
“The turns had been particularly difficult. I nearly misplaced the ball a couple of occasions on the curves,” mentioned Symmonds, who used his proper hand to dribble. “I might have benefitted from utilizing my left hand, however I’m simply not that coordinated. I wasn’t a lot dribbling as pushing the ball ahead.”
Fortunately, Symmonds’s childhood years spent on workforce sports activities helped out. “I performed nearly each sport in highschool,” Symmonds mentioned. “Basketball, soccer, ice hockey, snowboarding, you identify it. It simply occurred to be working that I actually stood out at.”
Symmonds got here by way of his first lap in 1:24, then slowed down in his second lap, splitting 2:45 at 800 meters. Nonetheless on tempo to run sub-six minutes going into his closing lap, he had a slight hiccup on the curve of the final 400, dropping contact with the basketball because it rolled off to the sting of the observe. He was in a position to seize it and resume dribbling, although, and wound up ending the race in 5:29.
Now that he’s checked working a quick basketball-dribbling mile off his bucket listing, Symmonds is brainstorming different challenges to finish. “I’m engaged on one now that may take me a few month to coach for,” he mentioned. “There are some I in all probability won’t ever be capable of do.”
[Smash your targets with a Runner’s World Coaching Plan, designed for any velocity and any distance.]
Whereas Symmonds enjoys setting these goofy targets and posting movies of himself conquering them, the challenges are additionally a manner for him to attach with youthful athletes in a less-serious setting than the skilled working circuit. On the finish of his basketball mile video, he encourages his viewers to take a ball to their very own observe and attempt to break his file. Anybody who goes sub-5:29—and posts a video of themselves doing it—will get a free headband from RunGum (Symmonds’s caffeinated gum firm) within the mail, he mentioned.
“I need to encourage individuals to attempt new issues and problem themselves,” he mentioned.