Treadmill used in the 24 hour challengeThe Great Lakes HSA 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge will begin tomorrow evening at 5pm in Rocky River, Ohio. Twelve runners will attempt to run a new world record distance by 5pm Saturday evening. Each runner will run for at least 2 hours, but some members of the team will be running at the same time. I’m not quite sure how that is supposed to work out. They are also trying to beat a record as defined by the Guinness Book, but that particular record is not included in their online database so I could not look up the exact rules. Unfortunately, the rules are not included on the event’s website, either. Based upon their press release, my assumption is that each runner will run for two hours and that the other scheduled run times are just to keep that person company.

Each person will need to average around 22 miles within that two hour time span in order to break the record. They may decide to continue running to try and get the 48 hour record if they are feeling up to it. The current 24 hour record is 247 miles, set in the UK last year. The new attempt is aiming for over 250 miles. They are still looking for volunteer witnesses to stand in and watch the runners for an hour at a time. They need at least 48 witnesses over the 24 hour span, and twice that if they keep going for the 48 hour span.

Personally, I would never take part in an attempt like this. I would much rather take part in a relay that is outside rather than try to keep myself from going batty on a treadmill. I can usually manage a mile to warm up before lifting weights, or a few miles if I absolutely can not get outside. One of the alumni from my college running team used to do his fifteen or twenty mile long runs on the treadmills, and I could not understand it then any better than I can understand it now.

(Thanks to Scott at Straight to the Bar for the heads up!)