Dylan Sorensen Broke the World Record—Again!—for the Fastest Mile While Dribbling a Basketball – runnersworld.com

Dylan Sorensen Broke the World Record—Again!—for the Fastest Mile While Dribbling a Basketball  runnersworld.com

For the second time in 2020, Dylan Sorensen has captured the basketball mile world record.

Back in April, The University of North Carolina distance running assistant coach—who grew up in the passionate basketball state of Indiana—was inspired to go after the record when The Last Dance, the popular ESPN series about Michael Jordan’s story and legacy, aired. He set the record, running a 4:37 mile while dribbling a basketball.

“We have a saying in Indiana, ‘In every other state, it’s just basketball, but this is Indiana,’” Sorensen told Runner’s World. “I think people are intrigued by it because it connects with the general population. People know basketball and have a relative understanding of how far a mile is, so meshing the two makes people curious.”

That first record run would gain national notoriety and spark a number of follow-up attempts on both the men’s and women’s side.

“I didn’t realize it would captivate such an audience,” Sorensen told Runner’s World. “A runner who will run for us [UNC] next year even broke the women’s record over the summer. I kind of felt guilty I didn’t do anything for that run then.”

As the record continued to fall throughout the summer and fall, Sorensen thought about attempting it again. This time, he’d run for a cause: , a UNC-specific nonprofit.

“With so many major things happening in our society the last few months, from social injustices to mental health, I realized I could do something with the attention a second attempt might get,” he said. “This charity creates opportunities for women in intercollegiate athletics and gives people a change to receive an education that would they can take back to their community and make the world a better place.”

Allison Smith

This time Sorensen now needed to top was . Sorensen’s experience gave him an edge, as he knew to run in lane two to avoid dribbling the ball on the inside rail. However, dressed in his UNC Michael Jordan jersey and , he got a bit excited over the first 400 meters.

“I went out way too fast,” Sorensen said. “My first 400 was 60 seconds, so I was doing damage control the rest of the way.”

Sorensen didn’t know he had gone out that fast because he asked his timers to not read out his splits. Instead, he ran by feel, but he realized he had overextended himself when he reached the 700-meter mark.

Though he felt the lactic acid building up, he kept pushing through the pain by repeating the mantra, “For them, for them, for them, you’re doing it for them,” referring to the FORevHER Tar Heels cause.

Allison Smith

As Sorensen came down the final stretch and crossed the line, he expected to hear cheers or woes, depending on the result. Instead, he was greeted by silence from the socially-distant crowd of coworkers and his team on hand. Even his timers were silent.

“The timers were just looking at each other and looking at the watches,” he said. “They couldn’t remember what the previous record was. They knew it was 4:33-something. I expected a positive reaction if I got it, but they didn’t say anything so I thought I must’ve missed it. Then they realized I had gotten it by two-hundredths of a second.”

Sorensen captured the record by the skin of his teeth in 4:33:73. Once the official time was announced, the crowd finally reacted with cheers and shouts of congratulations.

“What’s life without a little drama,” Sorensen joked the day after the race.

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With the continued popularity of the event, he thinks it will be broken again soonbut Sorensen isn’t sure if he’ll go after it again. One thing that would inspire him to give it another go would be running for a cause—, or another. (If you’d like to donate to the fund, you can do so .)

“Records are meant to be broken,” Sorensen said. “If I find a good reason, I wouldn’t say no to doing it again. Given my pacing strategy, if I tighten that up, I don’t think I’ll need to get any better to run it faster.”

Allison Smith

Gear & News Editor Drew covers a variety of subjects for Runner’s World and Bicycling, and he specializes in writing and editing human interest pieces while also covering health, wellness, gear, and fitness for the brand.

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