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This woman broke the Guinness World Record for running the fastest marathon in high heels



While runners across Chattanooga, Tennessee laced-up their sneakers in preparation for the "Seven Bridges Marathon," Irene Sewell strapped on her high heels. You heard right ... Sewell ran a full marathon in high heels and even broke a Guinness World Record in the process. She finished the marathon in 7 hours and 28 minutes. The goal was 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Sewell started running after retiring from her career as a professional ballroom dancer three years ago. "I still needed that competitive outlet and community to connect with so I started running," Sewell said.

Since then, Sewell's done "three half IRONMAN's, two half marathons and probably about ten 5k's." One thing Sewell says she hasn't done is run a marathon in high heels, "not in heels, no." That all changed this past Sunday.

"I will be running the marathon in high heels, which is super exciting," Sewell told News Channel 9 in the days leading up to the big race. Her friends and family have a different word for it, "they think I'm crazy." Sewell says she's been contemplating this for a few years now.

It all started when she read about a London woman's quest to become the world's fastest marathon runner in high heels.

"She (woman from London) ultimately didn't get the record so I was just reading about her and I thought man! With my dancing background and now running background it's kind of the best of both worlds."
Irene Sewell

When Sewell contacted Guinness World Records to tell them of her plans, she received a "full guide book and it was about twenty pages long so they were very serious." The book stipulates the height of the heel she must wear, 2.75 inches, the width of the heel, 1.5 centimeters, and the time in which she must complete the marathon, under 7.5 hours.

Still, Sewell wasn't deterred. "It's going to be amazing hopefully," she said. For months, Sewell has been training across Chattanooga. At first, she trained in the heels she planned to wear during the marathon but her podiatrist "suggested to not run every run in heels" but instead to "kind of swap it out and just run normally with tennis shoes."

On marathon day, Sewell will come prepared with blister band aids, tape, metatarsal pads, insoles for stability and arch support, and calf sleeves. She will also have six different pairs of the same shoe on hand.

"I'm actually going to have a range of sizes from a seven and a half, which is what I'm going to start with, all the way up to nine," Sewell said. For Sewell, every pair is made for walking across the finish line.

"That's kind of the moment that I run for. It's the moment that you've trained for and so you're able to just look back on all your training and say, 'man, this was so worth it Iโ€™m so glad I did this."
Irene Sewell

Our affiliate News Channel 9 in Chattanooga, Tennessee contributed to this story.

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