On Aug. 10, 2013, McGill-Toolen Catholic High School teacher and track and cross-country coach Marie Bader completed a 10K on sand, which ran from the State Park Cotton Bayou complex to the Gulf Shores public beach. With her final steps in the World-Beater All-Beach 10K, she clocked in a time of 55 minutes and 1 second which won her first place. She also earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Fastest 10KM on Sand.”
Bader was surprised with the honor on Jan. 24 during McGill-Toolen’s Coming Home Pep Rally.
“She doesn’t know this, but just this month she is officially a Guiness World Record Holder,” said Athletic Director Bill Griffin.
The race that earned the accolade for Bader was not an easy one.
“It was incredibly hard,” Bader said. “You just don’t get the bounce off your step that you do on either grass or cement. There were times that I was running through water and my feet were sinking into the sand. A couple of times I was just, ‘I give up.’ I felt like I was stuck in there.
“This is a good race.”
When Bader signed up for the race, she said she didn’t even know the McGill-Toolen tennis team was spearheading it.
“It was a good surprise to see a lot of the kids I teach,” she said. “It was really nice.”
The small race, which applied for world-record sanctioning for “Fastest 10KM on Sand” for the individual and relay team, wasn’t the first brush of Guinness Book of World Records for Bader. She previously participated in the largest Zumba party as well.
However, the individual honor means much more than the shared record with several 1,000 other people.
“I never thought I would ever be in Guinness Book of World Records,” Bader said. “I mean, the Zumba thing is different. This is for just me.”
While Bader is the only Guinness World Record holder from the event, a three-person team from Auburn holds the World-Beater All-Beach 10K American Record for a team. Guinness World Records has not yet certified the win.
Big Dog Running Company — Jake Brewer, Chris Patrick and Richard Alverson — won the relay.
The World-Beater All-Beach 10K was relatively small with only 30 runners in 2013, but Bader hopes it grows.
“It is such a great run. I hope that with this record more people come out in August for the second race and compete,” she said.
The race’s founder Joe Moore hoped for the same.
“We plan to grow this race, maybe even set it at one particular place or resort for a set number of years,” he said. “What we’ve found is that this race offers runners a wonderful opportunity that you don’t just stumble across every day – setting an American or World Record for the Fastest 10 K on Sand.”