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Tyler Curielís 24-Hour Basketball Dribble World Record Attempt
New Orleans, LA
Dec 15-16, 2003

Report by Tom Crull

Tyler after 24 hours on the track

 

I recently witnessed probably one of the most heroic and worth while efforts I've ever seen in my 20 years of running. Dr.Tyler Curiel, head of Hematology and Oncology at Tulane Medical School, asked me if I would crew him for a 24 hour basketball dribble Guinness World record attempt at the Tulane University track in New Orleans.  He needed to beat 97.37 miles. I readily  accepted.

One of Tyler's research medical students, Andy Martin has terminal Sinus Cancer, and he and Tyler are working side by side to see if they can some how come up with a cure or at least delay the spread of the cancer.  Andy was an avid mountain and rock climber from California, so no stranger to  fitness.  He has already endured two brain operations.  Tyler thought this would be a great way to raise money and awareness of Andy's illness.

Tyler's staff and med students turned out in force for the run starting at 9:30 am on  Monday. They had a large tent set up, enough food for a full 24 hour track run, heaters, lights, music and at night we ringed the ENTIRE track with luminaries--absolutely beautiful!  We taped Tyler's wrist and sent him on his way. Throughout the run Tyler was accompanied by his students, local runners, members of the Tulane basketball team, their Coach, and members of the Med School faculty. I was the only non-scholarly, non-athletic person in attendance, so maybe some of the cerebral atmosphere rubbed off on me (I seriously doubt it).

Records were meticulously kept by a lovely med student from France for the entire 24 hours. Through out the run we kept  Tyler in his Frappichinos, Perpetuem, endurance supplements, chicken noodle soup and lots of Duct tape for his toes, which really blistered. He also received periodic leg massages.  Early Tuesday morning we finally had to cut out the toes of a pair of his shoes which gave him instant relief. That same knife was later used to cut his finish line cake--it added to the flavor!  Throughout the run we had to slow him down.  He started out with a 4/1 ratio and we finally made him go to 3/1 fairly early in the run. During  the night, Tyler's son Alex ran 20 miles on the track bouncing a basketball also, at an average pace I would estimate at 9:30, unbelievable. He'll be  running HRH in another five years, you can count on it!

During Monday afternoon, the North Texas Mean Green band took the field for practice before  the bowl game. They were great. After they discovered what Tyler was running  for, they brought Andy Martin to the middle of the band and they serenaded  him with "You'll Never Walk Alone". There was not a dry eye around! Andy then spoke to the band members and then personally shook each ones hand.  Tyler at that time left the track and addressed all the band members himself.  Leaving the field, they all walked over to our tent and gave donations.

Tyler never let up at all during the entire 24 hours except to have his body worked on briefly. He is an absolute animal. He finished with rubbery dust all over his face from the ball hitting the track surface. We had to wipe him down two times.  Around midnight to around 4 AM he experienced a sinking spell, but some SoBe Adrenaline rush, I brought, fixed that problem.

My hats off to Tyler for raising money for Andy's research. I think to date he's raised over $40,000!  The story will be going National.  Incidentally, all of Andy's Med school friends, male and female, shaved their heads and had  their picture taken holding Andy over their shoulders.  We hung the poster in the tent.

Tyler set records at 50k, 50 miles, 100k, and has a pending Guinness world record at 108.41 miles for the 24.  In summary, what an experience and gastrointestinal event!  WAY TO GO TYLER!  Let's all keep Andy in our hearts--this is a fantastic young man!

Tom Crull
Dr. T's  Crew Chief

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