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Crazy 8s looks to reclaim title of 'World's Fastest 8K'

July 11th, 2014 9:30 pm by Staff Report

Crazy 8s looks to reclaim title of 'World's Fastest 8K'

KINGSPORT — The "World's Fastest 8K" will have to be a little faster Saturday night.

The Indian Path Medical Center & CrestPoint Health Crazy 8s 8K Run, which has held the world record since 1996, now finds itself looking up at a new mark.

On June 22, Stephen Sambu ran a time of 22:01.03 in Boston to break the existing mark of 22:02.03, which was set by Peter Githuka 18 years ago in the Crazy 8s.

Saturday night at 9:58, the 25th running of the Crazy 8s will begin on Fort Henry Drive in front of J. Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport with some of the world's elite runners eyeing the Regional Eye Center's $10,008 World Record Bonus for the first person to break the mark.

The winner is guaranteed the Bank of Tennessee Dash for the Gold $5,000 first-place prize.

Leading the elite runners hoping to blister the world famous figure-8 course on the candle-lit streets of Kingsport are Sam Chelanga of Kenya and Birhan Nebebew of Ethiopia.

"We thought we had lost Sam," said Crazy 8s race director Hank Brown. "He was invited to run in Great Britain, but that race fell through so we're glad to have him here."

Former Crazy 8s champ Simon Ndirangu and Cleophas Ngetich, both from Kenya, are also running well lately and expected to be in the mix.

Chelanga has run 13:04 indoors for 5,000 meters earlier this year. Nebebew is coming off a big win at the Cooper River Bridge 10K in Charleston, S.C., and will be traveling to Kingsport straight from Ethiopia where he has been training at altitude.

"Nebebew's agent is raving about his fitness," Brown added. "It helps to come down from altitude and run a race so we'll see if that gives him an advantage."

Ndirangu won the Crazy 8s in 2007 in a time of 22:15.9, which ranks eighth all-time in the race.

"Don't count Simon out," said elite athlete recruiter Donna Bays. "He has run in Kingsport several times and knows the course. He's running as well as anyone right now."

Starting at 5 p.m., the Healthy Lifestyles Expo, presented by CrossFit Shifty Powers, will feature health- and fitness-related vendors and booths in the Dobyns-Bennett High School parking lot outside the stadium.

The McDonald's of Greater Kingsport Little 8s Youth Field Day will kick things off at 7 p.m. with fun field day activities for kids and their families.

At 8:58 p.m., Neil's Walk, presented by Wellmont/CVA Heart Institute and Eastman Credit Union, will get underway. The area's largest walk raised $11,000 last year for the Neil Danehy Heart Foundation.

Those who stick around after the post-race awards ceremony could be lucky enough to win the $1,000 Midnight Mad Money giveaway from Bill Gatton Honda.

For more information on any of the Crazy 8s events visit www.crazy8s.org.

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