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Originally published June 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 8, 2008 at 2:34 AM

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Crawling into the record book

Now, it's safe to say Laura D'Asaro crawls faster than anyone on record. At least faster than anyone on record with Guinness. The Nathan Hale High...

Seattle Times business reporter

Now, it's safe to say Laura D'Asaro crawls faster than anyone on record. At least faster than anyone on record with Guinness.

The Nathan Hale High School junior set a new world speed-crawling mark Saturday by covering a mile in 22 minutes and 4 seconds — on her hands and knees. The old record, held by a Toronto man, was 23 minutes and 45 seconds.

"It's my best time yet," said the 17-year-old.

D'Asaro's feat was the culmination of months of hard training and preparation. In addition to setting a world record, she raised more than $4,000 to fight cancer.

For weeks D'Asaro practiced by crawling around her neighborhood, on the Burke-Gilman Trail and at her high school. "You can only train for crawling by crawling," she said.

On Saturday, D'Asaro covered her first quarter-mile lap around Woolsey Stadium at King's High School in Shoreline in less than five minutes, her hands covered in thick gloves and her knees protected by heavy padding. She had duct-taped elbow pads to her shoes to keep them from ripping apart.

"Come on, girl," some supporters yelled. She was doused with water several times to keep her cool.

Her father, Eric D'Asaro, followed her with a video camera, to document the achievement for Guinness.

On her fourth and last lap, the crowd got excited. "Let's go, Laura," they began to chant. "Eye of the Tiger," a song made famous by one of the "Rocky" movies, played in the background.

When she reached the finish line — shaving more than a minute and a half from the previous record — the crowd erupted.

D'Asaro's family and friends applauded and embraced her. Children lined up for autographs.

"It's pretty cool," she said, catching her breath. But, overall, the experience was "pretty hard," she said; she had thought she would collapse halfway through.

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D'Asaro's record-setting crawl was done at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event for Shoreline and North Seattle, ending months of fundraising efforts. Her challenge to break the Guinness World Record made her famous — and attracted enough donations to make her the top student fundraiser for the event.

She will accept donations through August via her Web site: www.gocrawl.org.

"She is a very inspirational person," said event chair Nancy Kulseth.

Ángel González: 206-515-5644 or agonzalez@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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