For most people, Aug. 7 will be remembered — if it's remembered at all — as nothing more than another uneventful summer Saturday. But it will be engraved in Jamasen Rodriguez's memory ... and perhaps the Guinness book of world records.
It all began at 8 a.m. with the crack of a gunshot. On the Modesto Junior College track, a small group of friends and family gathered to watch in anticipation.
Jamasen, a senior at Modesto High School, apparently broke the Guinness world record for the fastest "lunge mile" with a time of 25 minutes, 21 seconds. That beat the previous record by 24 seconds.
If you've never heard of a lunge mile, it's essentially an exercise in excruciating leg pain. Instead of walking or running a mile, Jamasen lunged to his knees, alternating
left and right, with each step. It took him 1,370 lunges.
Jamasen must wait several weeks before London-based Guinness World Records verifies the record.
It was through the Guinness Web site that Jameson got inspired for his lunge run.
He was looking for the record for the world's largest cupcake, a record he also hopes to break one day. After seeing a photo of a man holding 27 golf balls in one hand, he followed a link about the world's fastest lunge mile.
"After I saw it, I knew I could beat it," he said.
Jamasen started practicing at the end of May with his brother Joshua and a few of his friends from the Modesto High track team.
"I would do 400 lunges each day, then 800 each day, then 1,200," he said. "I would do a complete mile every other week out on MJC's track."
Andrew Musca, a senior at Modesto High, said that "even after Jamasen ran six miles uphill for track practice, he would come out to the track with me and do 300 lunges."
Jamasen's father, Herb Rodriguez, said: "At first, I was a little skeptical, but after 10 minutes of watching Jamasen practice, I knew this was him. This was definitely something he could do."
Brian Heese, Jamasen's track coach, wasn't at all surprised by Jamasen's desire to break a world record. "He's always thinking up new challenges to throw out there and see if he can do it."
During his practice runs, Jamasen beat the world record by a minute, so he was confident he could break it in his official attempt last weekend.
"I wanted to do something insane," Jamasen said, laughing.
"He's always taking on the world," sister Melissa Rocha said. "Just one against the world, that's Jamasen."
Rebecca Mears is a senior at Modesto High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom program.