World's Largest Piggyback Race
Central Crossing students run for world record
Central Crossing High School senior Jaylynn Graham carries junior Alison Amos as they join fellow students in an attempt to break the world record for the largest piggy back race during a celebration of the school's 10th anniversary Friday, Sept. 21. Buy This Photo
Central Crossing High School students celebrated the school's 10th anniversary Sept. 21 in a memorable way.
Approximately 1,200 students participated in an attempt to break the world record for the largest piggyback race.
Students climbed on the back of their classmates and raced from one end of the football field to the other, making sure not to fall.
The race was not competitive -- as long as they reached the other end of the field without falling, they qualified to be part of the record-breaking attempt.
The school will be sending a videotape of the event to the Guinness Book of World Records, which will study the race, and, if all goes well, certify that Central Crossing is the record holder.
The school had to scramble to make sure it had enough participants to break the record, said Valerie Mucci, a sophomore English teacher who helped organize the event.
The most recent world record piggyback race had been held with 388 participants in Charleston, S.C., in October 2011, she said.
But just one day before Central Crossing's event, it was learned that a group in the United Kingdom set a new record with about 1,046 participants, Mucci said.
"We had 600 kids signed up, so we thought we were home free," Principal Jill Burke said.
On Sept. 21, there was a last-minute effort to recruit more Central Crossing students, Mucci said.
Students were asked to donate $1 to participate and Central Crossing teachers ponied up additional money to make sure every student who wanted to could take part in the race, she said.
The extra effort by students and staff helped ensure the school would apparently have enough participants to make the newest record a short-lived one, Mucci said.
Students also bought special pink T-shirts for the event.
The proceeds from the race and the T-shirt sale will be used to help fund a carnival the school will put on in 2013, Mucci said.
"It will be a new event designed for kids ages 7-13 as a way to get them involved in our school and excited about someday attending Central Crossing," she said.
A student committee came up with the idea of seeking the world piggyback race record, Mucci said.
"They wanted to do something that wasn't necessarily athletic or would exclude anyone," she said.
After the race, students were able to enjoy food donated by a number of local restaurants. An "Oink 500" race, in which students crawled on their knees from mid-field to the goal line, and a hot dog eating contest also were held.
"It was hard for everyone to concentrate on school" as the time for the piggyback race approached, "but the students really did a great job staying focused," Burke said.
The event was "a great way to celebrate our 10th anniversary," she said.
Since it opened in 2002, Central Crossing's enrollment has grown from about 900 students to this year's total of just under 1,600, Burke said.
The school is also celebrating indications that it will score its highest test results on the State Report Card in several years, she said, as well as its highest ever performance index in the rating.
The results are still unofficial as the release of the final State Report Card for 2011-12 has been delayed, Burke said.
After the piggyback race was over, students were exalting in having the chance to be part of Guinness Book history.
"It was really fun especially with so many people racing at the same time," Lena Myers said.
"You just wanted to hold on and make sure you didn't fall," Melissa Mendoza said.
"I kept coming close to sliding off because people kept running into you," Alyssa Taylor said. "I just wanted to make sure I didn't fall, because I really wanted to be part of the record."
Forget about the other participants, Catherine Knoblauch said.
It was challenging just carrying someone 100 yards down the football field, she said.
"I wasn't sure I was going to make it. The goal line seemed so far away," Knoblauch said. "It was tough because part of you wanted to stop, but I kept going. I'm glad I made it."