Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sprinting In Stilettos!

This article was from a few months ago for Relay For Life at Virginia Tech. It was too much fun to keep to myself! Enjoy! 

Tech Students, male  and female, strapped on stilettos in hopes to break a Guinness World Record at the Relay For Life festivities this past Friday

In order to break the world record held by a group last year with 280 participants, organizer Caroline Gimenez was sure to break the record with just her dorm alone.

“I saw it on Facebook after one of my friends had joined so I joined it and invited more people” said one runner, Sientje Henderson. On Friday, sign in began as soon as Relay festivities began at 5 p.m. By the time the event was scheduled to begin at 9, the Drillfield was buzzing with activity. It was somewhat difficult to find the appropriate table to sign in, which had moved since earlier that day.

Each heel had to be at least 2.75 inches, and Gimenez and a team of other ruler clad individuals were hurriedly assessing the heels to see if they measured up.

Eight thirty arrives and there are still more individuals signing in.

“ We must be up to about 150” said Gimenez. Even if we were not slated to break a world record, Tech students sure do know how to make a statement. Even young men took the challenge for cancer. A patent leather stiletto clad young man, at least 6 feet five inches tall, stood a head taller than the crowd.

“I figured relay was a good cause”he said “Especially if we had a chance of breaking a world record.”

Not only is it a chance to break a world record, but it was a way to give new meaning to Relay for Life. Virginia Tech has been  the largest Relay for Life celebration in the country for the second year in a row and consequently raises the most money.  In 2008, Virginia Tech Relay For Life successfully raised over $294,000 for the American Cancer Society with over 303 teams and over 3,100 participants. (

Henderson said “[I] realy for one of my old teachers, Mrs. Moore and more recently for my neighbor Bunny who was diagnosed this past week.”

It was down to the wire. Relay coordinators cleared a portion of the track that spanned five hundred feet from the finish line as a throng of participants gathered at the starting line. Some ambled, others strutted. It was an interesting group of people. Whether they did it to break a world record, have an acceptable reason to wear heels in public, or just for the fun of it, these college students braced themselves against the crowd, hoping to get to the finish line first.

“On your mark, get set, go!” And they were off. Like water rushing from the floodgates. After the initial rush, the crowd petered out to reveal girls struggling to get their guy friends' heels out of the mud.

“The shoes did survive. There was mud and grass all over them but it will come off” said Shannon Abrell, one of the participants. “Surprisingly it wasn't hard to run in the stilettos! There was alot of adrenaline flowing because everyone around us was ready to sprint off the starting line!”

Despite the fact that Tech students did not break the recent record, Gimenez said “It's still really exciting. As you may know, I found out from Guinness...that last April another organization broke the record with 763 people. It was slightly discouraging at first, but I didn't want to give up... and the response has been incredible!”


Thanks to the cooperative participants that lent their opinions to my humble blog! Virginia Tech's division of Relay for Life is one of, if not the biggest of it's kind in the nation. I've been personally affected by cancer and each and every one of us has a tale to tell about the silent and undiscriminating nature of cancer. I always look forward to hearing about creative ways  to raise money for a great cause such as this one! : )

 P.S. I sprint in stilettos to class every day! A quarter mile in my shoes! : P

Until soon Much love,

<3 SF