The Traveling Runner

By: Team NATHAN athlete and NATHAN East Coast Tech Rep, Cole Crosby


Featured Photo by Momentum Photography


One of the biggest questions I get asked is “How do I keep up my high-level of running while on the road?”

The simple answer is that I just make it work, I find a way.


Cole does his thing.
Cole does his thing.


From the young age of four, I used to run around my local track at Princeton University where I grew up. At the time, I had no idea that running would become such an integral part of my life but it was here that I learned how to be disciplined and above all find strength in my efforts.

Running to me is the best release and outlet and a great way to interact with new people and explore new places.  I love to explore and every day, I am given the opportunity to explore new places through running.


Cole with his "home away from home," the NATHAN-mobile.
Cole with his “home away from home,” the NATHAN-mobile.


As the NATHAN east coast tech rep, I have been able to travel and run in so many really cool and fun places:


The beaches of Daytona Beach Florida


The Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina


The Forests of the Northeast


Cool Vacation Spots such as Cape Cod and Charleston, South Carolina


And Major Cities such as Chicago, NYC, Atlanta and Boston.


One of the many locations on the east coast that Cole has visited, Percy Warner Park in TN.
One of the many locations on the east coast that Cole has visited, Percy Warner Park in TN.


No one week is ever the same as the next week and so I have learned to be adaptable. I have run sometimes as much as four times in one day (Morning, Lunch, Demo run, and Post Demo Run) to get the desired amount of miles and effort.


Typically, I can get a nice workout during the early morning hours before running stores and other accounts I work with open. This gives me the most time here. And if I have more work from the hotel, I log some late evening miles which often are some of my favorite. I usually run out from my hotel and explore the surrounding area but once a week look to find a local park or trail system to run through to get a nice longer trail run in. I do my best to hydrate as much as possible and focus on eating as good of food I can find given my schedule. I also have to give credit to my amazing wife, Ashlee who gives me the time to run and catch-up on miles when I am home.


Cole gets in quality training whenever and where ever he can.
Cole gets in quality training whenever and where ever he can.


Now on to the Toga Marathon Guinness Book World Record Attempt.


This story is quite comical. A good friend of mine and Race Director for the Herald of Victory Marathon in Binghamton one day was looking into race records. He emailed me whether I would be willing to run any of them at his race: The Herald of Victory Marathon. He gave me a list that included: Fastest Marathon in a Business suit, dressed up as a super hero and the list went on and on. I joked and never thought I was the type to give one of these attempts a shot. We made jokes of running in a Toga as the Herald of Victory race looks to model the classic history of the Marathon with the story of Phidippides running from the town of Marathon to Athens. Phidippides ran in a Toga right?


Time went on and then I received another email. It said something like this: “Congratulations you have been approved for the Guinness Book World Record for Fastest Marathon while run in a Toga”. I immediately called my friend and found out that he went and applied for this attempt behind my back, paying the administrative fees and getting it all set-up for Marathon Sunday at the Herald of Victory. So here I am, running a marathon in a bed sheet looking to set a World record! Sounds like fun, right?


My training leading to this feat has been nothing special. “Just getting in the miles” has been my big focus. To figure out if I could even pull-off running in a toga I have run twice using a bed sheet and this is what I found.



1) Togas do not wick moisture.

2) Range of movement= Not much there!

3) Chafing.

4) Bobby-pins are a must.

5) Hydrating is going to be important.

6) This thing is way harder than I ever imagined!!!

Cole en route in toga to a world record.
Cole en route in toga to a world record.


Running in a glorified bed-sheet is no easy task. Bed sheets are made of cotton usually and do not wick moisture at all. To keep the toga in its natural form, I have elected to not cut holes in the sheet in order for this record to be more-official and harder.


When they get wet, they chafe like there is no tomorrow so I will need to practically bathe myself in anti-chafe cream to keep rubbing issues at bay.


The trick of the toga is to have it slit near the knees so that I can give myself the best range of movement. I have also elected to go for a twin sheet over a Queen that I had been using on those two training runs because the shorter length should give me better mobility for my legs.


The first run with the toga I noticed it flying and flopping around everywhere so having it properly pinned will allow for it to not pick up any additional drag.


Since the Toga does not wick well, making sure I have proper fluids throughout the run will be important. I will be carrying a NATHAN Speedshot Plus Insulated to help minimize my trips to the water stations so that I can focus my energy on running.


This run is going be hard so wish me luck out there!




Epilogue:  Cole Crosby set the Guinness World Record for Marathon in a Toga in 2:48.  In the process he won the marathon overall as well as set the course record.


One week later he conquered his past demons of Cayuga Trails 50. He learned from two very rough Cayugas in past years and fought hard all day for a 5th place spot in this National Trail Championship race finishing in 7:57.  Congratulations, Cole. As always we are very proud of you!



Cole victorious!
Cole victorious!