The 5000 Mile Run Club's effort to surpass world-record numbers for a continuous relay nearly became a duathlon this morning.
Heavy rain and wind pounded the overnight running crew that included Jody Nelson, Darian Smith, Simon Cloutier and Rich Swor on the track at Northern Guilford High School.
But they never stopped. And turns out, they didn't have to swim for it, either.
"I've never run on a track with a shallow end and a deep end," Swor, the relay organizer, texted to his teammates after he ran from 4:30 to 5:30 a.m.
The National Weather Service reports that the Piedmont Triad International Airport, just under 15 miles from the school, received 1.81 inches of rain between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m. The NWS also reports winds of 18 mph or stronger from 7 p.m. through 2 a.m., with gusts up to 33 mph.
Here's what Swor and Jody Nelson had to say about the experience, via Facebook message:
"We experienced gusts of winds up to 20 mph last night, with rain starting around 11:30 p.m. Around 1:30 a.m., the rain intensified to a hard downpour, leaving the first two lanes flooded.
"Runners Darian Smith and Simon Cloutier remained on the course the entire night during the storm. At times they had to run in the third lane due to the flooding. At some point in the evening power was lost, making it even more hard to see the track."
"When I got there (to begin running at 4:30 a.m.) it was pitch black and all I could see were a few emergency lights of the school. I had to take a round-about way to get there because there was a tree across the road. ...
"There were a couple of heavier rain, but the wind had completely died down and, for me, it was mostly an enjoyable run in the rain. ...
"Simon told me he actually saw the sky turn green to the south when the transformer blew. ...
"There was no running in lane 1 or 2; they were completely under water for both of us. There are spots on the field there are about a foot deep in water.
"I took it easier than normal and just enjoyed running."