Indianapolis man runs for world record Saturday

Sterling White is trying to set a world record for the fireman carry.
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An Indianapolis man is in training to try to break a world record.

It's unusual watching 23-year-old Sterling White practice for his world record attempt. He loads a partner on his shoulders fireman-style and takes off running. It's a task he insists is more challenging mentally than physically.

"You just have to let your mind take over and keep telling yourself positive affirmations and 'I can do it, I can do it. I can push through it'," White said.

It's work to be carried, too.

"I'm trying to keep my breath, because it's a little hard to breathe when you are being bounced around," said Zane Cooperider.

They have a pacer minding the clock. The idea is to meet minute marks with each lap and not fall.

"They are going to hold on tight for the distance of 100 and then let loose for about 50 meters and then after that 50 meters, they are going to hold tight," White said.

"After a couple rounds, a couple goes, I thought, 'This isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would,' Cooperider said. "I have a much better grip on him than I thought I would."

White's attempt this weekend marks the end of a journey that started at Crossfit Naptown's downtown Indianapolis gym a year ago.

"He came in one day and was, like, 'I have this dream. I have this goal. I want to break a world record'," said Jared Byczko.

The time to beat is one mile in under 11:29.4, carrying a like-weighted person to White's own 155 pounds.

"Getting out of my own way is the most difficult part," White said.

At Crossfit Naptown, he works on his lung capacity, his strength and has learned the importance of a community.

"We took him in with open arms," Byczko said.

So far, White says he's had success completing the mile with a barbell.

"I was right on the record and actually a little bit ahead of the record, so I feel confident," he said.

The key now is executing when Guinness World Record officials are watching.

White's attempt is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Carroll Stadium on the IUPUI campus. If he's successful, he says the fastest mile piggyback will be his next goal.

White is raising money for the Little Red Door, a non-profit that helps cancer patients, in honor of a friend he lost recently to the disease.

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