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The Hotel Challenge - the 4x200 Goes Viral

You've just competed at the UIL State Track & Field Meet.

You're tired.

Your teammates are tired.

You've spent an entire year training, sweating, overcoming adversity in all types of weather conditions. (It is north Texas, where within a twenty-four span, it can go from snow to suntan lotion required.)

So what's the best way to spend 42 seconds in a hotel?

The Hotel Challenge!

Take teenagers from various Texas high schools, occupy three floors of the Embassy Suites in Austin, and run the 4x200. Harmless. Innocuous. Fun!

The brainchild of Antwuane Johnson of McKinney, athletes using Gatorade bottles as batons, sprinted a simulated 4x200 on three floors of the Embassy Suites in Austin this past weekend. The video is simply entitled, "I bet our Hotel is faster than yours." Five track & field-related organizations were tagged, including the Texas Track & Field Coaches Association. The hashtag reads simply #HotelRelayChallenge

According to Antwuane, "It was my Idea to shoot this video and post, and we used water bottles and Gatorade bottles as batons, and there were no hotel guests that complained; instead; they recorded us and said: 'We can tell you guys competed at State.' lol And yes, we didn’t expect it to go viral. We were just having fun and wanted to let people see what track athletes do when they get together."

McKinney High School.

McKinney Boyd High School.

Texarkana Liberty-Eylau High School.

Not all of the athletes knew one another prior to the race, but that doesn't matter when you're having fun.

Davonta Vaughn from Liberty-Eylau explains: "We came in second. My friend who ran the third leg dropped the stick lol. He slipped, and we thought it was funny. The team that won and my team, we're all from the same school, so it was super funny when he fell."

Alyssa Miller from McKinney Boyd agrees: "It was so much fun!! We realized there were more athletes in the hotel, and they asked if we wanted to run, and I remember the challenge from the past couple years." As for the video going viral, Miller says, "Some people said we would get some, but i didn’t think it would be this much."

Bailey Wilson of McKinney Boyd helps provide some context to the whole challenge: "Well, to start off, we had just gotten back from being at the State meet all day and were eating in the lobby when we saw other track athletes standing outside their rooms. AJ is actually on a different team than Alyssa, Osay and I, but he lives in the same city, so we are good friends with him from doing summer track together. He met us on our floor, and one of the groups of guys came up and started talking to us about the day and track and everything. Then AJ suggested we do a relay on all 3 of our floors just for fun. It was okay because plenty of other teams and guests were awake and sitting in the lobby at the time, so we just made sure no one was walking on our floors before we started the race. So we waited for a couple of families to leave our floor and got some water bottles for our batons. We started with the “4x4” then decided to do a shorter relay, so Cameron and I ran to the opposite corner to do the videoed 4x2. We just decided to have some more running fun and made some new friends while doing it!"

As for the sudden explosion of the video's popularity, Bailey adds, "It’s pretty insane! We didn’t even think about posting it when we were doing it, but Alyssa videoed that one, and AJ decided to go ahead and show everyone how much fun we had this weekend. It’s really awesome that huge networks like those are interested in our little video."

At 8:38 a.m. on Monday morning, May 14, 2018, I started gathering notes for this blog. The video had received 961 likes, 374 retweets and 313K views, yet every time I refreshed my Twitter, the numbers continued to soar and the requests for video usage increased.

ABC News



SB Nation

La Sueur - a French Sports Media Outlet

NBC News


Bleacher Reports

Yahoo Sports Desk

Too many count; I'm losing track, and requests keep pouring in from all over the world! It's now 10:45 a.m., and the stats read: 441 retweets, 1,096 likes and 528K views. In a little over two hours, the video has attracted over 200K views - (no wonder my Twitter feed is a constant reminder of The Hotel Challenge.)

The picture below is the original post from Antwuane Johnson's Twitter page. You see the inside of the Embassy Suites in Austin, and at the time I screen-shotted this, the views had reached 379K.

{Want to watch the video?

Click on Antwuane's Twitter page -}

Below is a screen shot of one of the many requests pouring in to Antwuane's Twitter. How he's able to concentrate in school today is beyond imagination. His Twitter thread is on fire! While writing that last line, MLBN Clearances chimed in: see below

And let's not forget the track & field fans who love the enthusiasm and youthfulness of high school athletes. After all, no one was harmed in the making of this video (including the young man from Texarkana who slipped and fell.)

So the next time you're in a hotel, and track athletes are staying there, be alert - a Gatorade bottle flying around the corner means The Hotel Challenge is in full force. {Be thankful it's not a hurdle or javelin challenge!}

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