Chris Solarz broke his eighth Guinness World Record Sunday at the Suffolk County Half Marathon, pushing a double stroller faster than anyone ever has in a half marathon.
Solarz, 38, finished the 13.1-mile run in 1:18:08, with his son, Sebastien, 4, and daughter, Sophie, 2, strapped in for the ride.
“I’ve been in over 500 races in my life, and I have never heard so much cheering before,” said Solarz, who finished fourth out of 1,183 runners. “The whole day was really great.”
The kids had mixed reactions. Sebastien cheered with the crowd the whole way, while Sophie napped for most of the ride, Solarz said.
“They didn’t really know that they were breaking a record and they didn’t know that they were in a race,” Solarz said. “It was like another day in the stroller, and they’ve been to a lot of races, too.”
The three were dressed in Superman and Supergirl outfits — only the kids wore capes. It was fitting attire for the crew, as Solarz worked tirelessly to prepare for the record. He had been training with his kids in the stroller for a year and a half.
Solarz, of Manhattan, said he wasn’t tired after the race. It was the rest of the day that got to him. After the half marathon, the Solarz family went pumpkin picking and hay riding at F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm in Melville. When they returned to the city, Solarz had to fill his rented car with gas and return it. Then he took his kids swimming at a New York Sports Club facility.
“The race is nothing out of the ordinary,” said Solarz, managing director at Cliffwater LLC, an investment advisory firm. “I still ran 100 miles last week. I was exhausted by the end of the day, but that usually happens on a Sunday, when I have the kids for a full day.”
Solarz set his first Guinness World Record in 2009, when he and a friend stopped at every New York City subway station in 22:52:36. In the next six years, he set three records for marathon running, one for treadmill running, one for stair-climbing and another for a pub-crawl. The previous “double stroller in a half marathon” record was set at 1:26:37 in the United Kingdom in March. Solarz beat that time by 8:29.
Guinness is currently reviewing Solarz’s application, a process that can take more than three months, according to Guinness World Records North America. To make the record official, Guinness said it will review evidence, including photos and witness statements, that the record was broken with two individuals strapped in a commercially available double stroller during the half marathon. Solarz expects the record to become official.
In the meantime, Solarz has continued his training. He has already begun running his customary 15-mile-per-day regimen. And on weekends, you can catch the eight-time world record-breaker running with the stroller through Central Park.