12 Crazy Runners...
One new world record!
If you finished FLM on Sunday, you probably thought it felt as though you’d been running towards the Mall for days. Well, spare a thought for nine nutty forumites who had spent two days and two nights trying to reach the finish, despite being just metres away in Piccadilly Circus...
The nine were part of the RW Forum Treadmill World Record team of 12, who began their challenge at 7:30am on April 11 in the window of Lillywhites sports store in central London. Working in shifts and running at speeds most of us would consider tough for 400m reps, they clocked an incredible 495.76 miles by 7:30am on Sunday, April 13 – shattering the record by more than 80 miles and raising thousands of pounds for Tommy’s, the baby charity.
Ringleader Nick Morgan – aka Nick the Stick – summed up the victorious attempt as the team neared the finish. "It’s been utterly fantastic, but also totally and utterly exhausting," he said. "You can’t practise for an event like this, and I think we’ve learned how far you can push the human body."
Fellow forumite JJ was there to cheer the team on at the start and finish. "They’ve been phenomenal," she said. "I couldn’t run that fast for the bus! The overnight stuff must have been soul-destroying but they’ve supported each other so much.
"They don’t even smell as bad as I thought they would."
Meanwhile CRAB, who masterminded some of the logistics of the relay, admitted the pace had got out of hand. "The plan was to run at six-minute mile pace, but boys will be boys, the adrenaline starting flowing and we just got faster and faster. It’s going to be a long way round the marathon..."
The last runner on the 'mill was Rach E, who had been keen to push her mind and body to the limits. "I’ve been running for two years and this is probably the most ridiculous thing I’ve done," she said after hopping off. "I usually run up to half-marathon distance and have covered 35 miles in the last two days, but it’s taught me that running a marathon might be easier than I thought."
The nine forumites carrying on to run the FLM certainly made it look easy. Leading the pack was Running Bhoy - finishing comfortably 3:19 - while CRAB and Gold Rush joined forces to record 3:44. Orinocho came nipping at their heels with 3:51; Padams, Nick the Stick, Neil and Njord still clocked a respectable 4:16.
The team had yet to tot up their fundraising, but estimated it at around £30-40,000 on the morning of the marathon. They hope to raise £100,000 in total. "We wanted to raise money for Tommy’s partly because my wife is seven months pregnant," said Nick, "but also because some of my oldest friends recently had a stillbirth, and it’s so devastating. It’s horribly common and it shouldn’t be in this day and age. So we hope we’ve done a little bit towards funding more research which is needed."
Meet The Team
Wayne Usher - Odeon
Wayne's been running for 2 years since giving up cycling following a move
at work. Marathons are his favourite event and he's already clocked up a magnificent seven.
Most likely to: Get drunk the day before the attempt and not turn up!
Did you know? He once appeared on Blockbusters and got soundly beaten.
Rachael Elliott - Rach E
The sprinter of the team, Rachael has only ever raced up to the half-marathon distance and her longest run ever is a modest 15 miles. Rachael only has two years of running behind her, but already has a 1:20 half-marathon and a sub-18:00 5K to her name.
Most likely to: Fly off the back of the treadmill when she realises it's set in kph not mph.
Did you know? Rachael believes she can challenge Dan in the "best calves in running" competition and is able to leg press four times her bodyweight.
Age: It is a secret (but I might just be 40 this year!)
Neil has been running for about 7 years now and before that he was on the British Team for Drinking and Smoking (and if I may say so, I was pretty good!) He started out wheezing his way around the block and now runs Ultras Marathons and IronMans.
Most likely to: Want to do it all again straight after!
Did you know? Neil is a nutter.
Kelvin Dickinson - Njord
Big-boned runner Njord fights a life-long battle against gravity. Gravity has lost the last few rounds and his 10K PB has consequently improved from 50 to 35 minutes, and half-marathon from 1:55 to 1:20.
Most likely to: Fuel up on mucky-fat sarnies
Did you know? Njord retired from crown-green bowling to concentrate on endurance running..
Lee Kemp - Kempez
The baby of the team at 26, Lee has only been running for three years but has already chalked up a sub-34-minute 10K and is now targeting triathlons and duathlons.
Most likely to: Go swimming in between shifts.
Did you know? As if this multi-talented lad hadn't done enough, he's also an FA Cup winner. Not with Man U or Arsenal, but in the Annual College FA Cup five-a-side.
Paul Adams - Padams
The head honcho of the team in terms of running pedigree - this guy is seriously quick. In the last three years, 6ft 5in-tall Padams has improved from 3:08 to 2:28 in the marathon and is aiming to go even faster this year. Padams is a regular on the FLM Sub-3 thread.
Most likely to: Hit his head on the ceiling.
Did you know? Padams was a sub in the 2001 Boat Race.
| Nick Morgan - Nick The Stick
El Capitan of our running rat pack is Nick Morgan. A 75-minute half-marathon runner and Features Writer for RW, he has an experienced track pedigree from his National Young Athletes League days. He replaced the training with booze at university but returned to running in his mid-twenties.
Most likely to: Paint himself in a flattering light in the post-race write-up.
Did you know? Nick is also a dab-hand at tennis, having played both Tiger Tim and Jamie Delgado at junior level.
||Peter Norris - OuchOuch
Ouchie – as he likes to be known – won the Dartmoor marathon last year and counts himself as the leading "coffin dodger" (ie vet) of the team.
Most likely to: Get injured!
Did you know? Peter is distantly related to royalty via his great-great-grandfather's fling with the Earl of Shrewsbury's daughter in the mid-19th century, and for a while he had an uncanny resemblance to Prince Charles!
| Stef King - Orinocho
Wimbledon Windmilers Running Club will be proud to see one of their runners on the team. Stef has raced three marathons and five Great South Runs.
Most likely to: Do the whole thing in a womble suit.
Did you know? In his younger days Stef was a mascot for Wimbledon FC twice!
||Adam Bardsley - Couldn't Run A Bath
The joker of the squad, CRAB’s times are no laughing matter. With a 2:41 marathon to his name, he’s got some pedigree, and after the treadmill shenanigans are done, he’ll be turning his attention to Ironman Nice in June where he'll be racing with the Pirates.
Most likely to: Soil himself rather than stop running.
Did you know? CRAB has met the 3 surviving oompa loompas from the original Willy Wonka movie.
| Gavin Harvie - Running Bhoy
Another sub-2:45 marathon runner, RB knows more about running shoes than anyone else in the world. An ideal Saturday for Gav is to run six miles to the footie, watch Celtic win and then run six miles home.
Most likely to: Drink everyone else under the table in the post-event celebrations.
Did you know? Gavin works for Sweatshop. They'll do anything for a mention won't they?
||Mick Nichols - Gold Rush
The squad’s second coffin dodger, "Rushie" is another accomplished marathon runner with a relaxed attitude to training. But don’t be fooled - when he says he’s "doing a bit," - that means 80 to 100 miles per week!
Most likely to: Have a side-bet with Ouchie about who runs the furthest.
Did you know? A truly multi-talented individual, Mick was also runner-up in the doubles of the Surrey & Hants Crib league in 1984-85.
| Phil Sanders - PhilPub
Phil took up running less than two years ago to have a crack at the London Marathon. He's hoping his legs still work after clocking sub 2:45 for the Paris Marathon, a full five days before the record attempt.
Most likely to: Remember he left his trainers in Paris.
Did you know? Phil used to weigh over 16 stone but has now given up eating doner kebabs. But he still goes to the pub.
Discuss this article
Ok folks..... here's your chance to be a part of something BIG and just a little bit mental. I've been getting together a team of fine specimens to take on the 48-hour team treadmill world record. This involves 12 people hopping on and off a single treadmill for 48 hours and trying to clock up more than the 381 miles posted by the South African squad which currently holds the record.
Fortunately, RW and Sweatshop have got behind the event and - get this - we'll be doing it in the window of Lillywhites in Piccadilly!
And there's more....
We'll be starting at 8.00am on Friday 11 April and finishing at 8.00am on Sunday 13 April at which point we'll hot-foot it over to the FLM start-line and run that as a bit of a warm-down......
I have already found 10 runners fast enough and crazy enough to take this on, which means I only need TWO more. Any takers? We particularly need a lady runner if possible as at the moment we're all blokes so we need someone to keep us in line. I can promise media stardom and some free kit plus of course the chance to carve your name into Guinness World Record history......can't say fairer than that.
AND DON'T PANIC - even if you're not the combination of a sooperdooper runner + barmy that we're looking for, you can still get involved! The whole event is aiming to raise £100,000 for Tommy's, the baby charity, which is an absolutely fab charity that fund medical research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth so we'd be ever so grateful if you supported us at:
Or by all means just come along to Piccadilly and shout some support/hurl some abuse depending on whether you're pre or post pub!
Posted: 15/02/2008 at 17:00
<and no I am not volunteering> Who is on the list so far???
Posted: 15/02/2008 at 17:16
No specific fast-ness that you need to be, but as a guide everyone so far is sub-3 marathon or very close to it (and in some cases much faster!!). But to actually beat the record we only need to keep the treadmill moving at 7.30 pace so if you reckon you can manage 4hrs of that over the course of 48 (and then run FLM too of course!) then give me a shout (by email perhaps?)
The list so far is:
Nick the Stick
Posted: 15/02/2008 at 17:36
Would love to but as aiming to go sub4 (hopefully sub3.45) I really am not fast enough.
Will defo drop by and offer support though
Posted: 15/02/2008 at 17:59
I'm up for it. Count me in if you want me.
7.30 mins per mile shouldn't give me a problem over that timeframe.
However, I don't have an entry for FLM or is that also thrown in?
Posted: 15/02/2008 at 19:57
oh good luck
would be nice to have had summat to include slower runners-but-well i guerss it wouldnt make as good a record
Posted: 16/02/2008 at 20:04
Thanks for the interest KittenKat and Sean (you both have mail!) and for the support everyone else.
PH - yep I know it would have been ideal to have something that all levels of runners could participate in, but I guess this kind of record isn't really suited to that as you say. However, I know RW really like these kinds of ideas so if this one goes smoothly maybe they'll look at going for something different - another record that would be more suitable to all types of runner (not sure whether there is one, but probably..)
O - Not totally sure yet on the shifts..... we need to thrash that out over the next few weeks. What would be your preference? And yeah - I could meet up for a bit of a practice sesh and I know Kempez is Surrey too - anyone else?
Posted: 17/02/2008 at 09:44
Just popping to the thread to say "Hail Hail".
I know that NtS is keen to try and get the main team members to do a regular post or three, so this is the first of mine.
76M last week was rounded off with 20M @ 7.10 pace, which I was pleased with, and feel that I'm really coming back towards "match fitness" just in time for the big event.
Posted: 18/02/2008 at 19:07
Cheers SD and ExPS.
O - let's try and get a date in the diary for the "practise session" - Kempez can we do it at your gym do you think?
I think also we should start investigating how we could squeeze the most possible mileage out of ourselves. IE what would be the best timings/shifts to run. I'm thinking maybe of splitting into pairs and looking after two or three hours each with maybe 15 min on and 15 min off. I think anything longer than 15 min is gonna mean the resting runner gets too cold. We could combat that by not alternating and just doing hour runs each but then we will surely be slower than if we split it up into smaller bursts. Thoughts?
Also - still don't have a confirmed lady runner as yet! Any fast ladies out there fancy it????
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 11:46
In the evening of Thursday 28 Feb? Wed 5, Thu 6 March?
Was also considering the 'pairs' option, and think 10-15 mins could work well. An hour on followed by a long rest has its attraction, but I reckon shorter efforts would see us covering more distance overall.
Good work RB.
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 12:20
Just wanted to wish everyone all the best for this. I'll definitely be supporting the cause, and showing up in person at Piccadilly. Sorry I didn't feel confident in volunteering to actually participate but I'm really not sure what state my legs will be in a few days after Paris - BUT I'll willingly volunteer for any support services, e.g. graveyard shift support and/or Lucozade/jelly baby monitor, etc.
If I can think of anything more encouraging to shout than "Keep going!" I'll write it down.
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 13:49
Confess to preferring the 1 hour stint option (purely cos I aint got the reall speed in my legs, but stamina I'm ok), but I'll defer to the majority opinion.
NtS - quick question. I've been looking at flights. Due to family commitments, it would be better for me to get a Friday morning flight down. Is this going to be a big problem, if I'm not there for the start? I'd prefer to be in all the photos obviously, but is it crucial?
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 13:58
If we're in pairs, I guess each pair could decide on their preferred length of shift. At the mo, I'd put myself in the 10-15 min camp so e.g. I could run with NtS and if someone else fancies the hour shift, they could run with RB...?
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 14:10
O - yeah that's exactly what I was thinking too. So each pair could decide on their own preferred method.
Re: the practise day March 8 is a go-er for me I think. Anyone else fancy that? Kempez?
RB - I don't think that would be too much of a problem.... as long as the majority of the team are there for the launch (along with a celeb hopefully!) then I'm sure we won't miss you too much.
PhilP - cheers mate. Actually you might be able to do something REALLY helpful. The world record rules stipulates that we have to have two witnesses for the whole 48 hours (they don't need to be the same two people the whole time but there must always be two present at any one time to check we don't knock off for a tea break or something...) Obviously the graveyard shifts are gonna be tough to fill on that one so if you or anyone else fancies it we'd be ENORMOUSLY grateful ;0)
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 14:36
lol PP, although shouting directions (Straight ahead?) might be a welcome relief from your 'Keep going!'...
Good luck with this, guys!
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 17:18
Not knowing where I stand.....but never short of an opinion or point......
What do the rules actually state with regards to changing over runners and time?
Let me explain where I'm coming from, does the treadmill have to stop before a change over of runner? If it does then you will loose approx 30 seconds per change over (the treadmill slowing down to a stop, quick change over and then back up to speed). Therefore, a change over every 15 minutes would mean you'd need to be on 7.15 pace as opposed to 7.30 pace if changing every 15 minutes.
Does each runner have to do 4 hours? Can some do more or some do less?
Anyone know how the current record holders managed it? Learn from what they did (or didn't do).
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 19:21
Sean - getting no joy on the FLM place at the moment but there's one more avenue I can try so will keep you posted.
I think I can answer most of your questions though.....
No - you don't have to stop the treadmill between shifts, as long as there's no discernible break between runners we can hop on and off with the thing still moving. With a bit of practise hopefully we can keep transition slowing to a minimum. Agree though we need to measure how much time we lose to see if it's worth doing shorter shifts or not.
And no - every runner does not have to run four hours each. Theoretically the faster ones could do longer shifts, but that seems a tad unfair and also a little harder to organise logistically.
Treadmill gradient - zero.
Afraid I don't know anything about the current record holders of the 48-hour record except that they did 381 miles, but I do know that the American team that broke the 24-hour record started with hour-long shifts and got shorter and faster as the 24 hours went on, so that by the end some of the shifts were as short as 10min. (I guess that means it must be possible to jump on and off without losing much time.)
Posted: 19/02/2008 at 20:15
Ah so this is where it's all at.
Thought I'd pop in and say hello,nice to see that this is generating a bit of interest.
I've not really thought about the shift patterns however if i was aiming for 40miles in my 4 hour stint I wouldn't want to be doing any longer than 30mins @ 6m/m and even at that I think i could be struggling on the Saturday,so for me 1/2 hour on mill with 5 1/2 hour break sounds like a plan
RB- "due to family commitments".............nothing to do with cheaper tickets for the flight then;o))........... bloody jocks
Posted: 20/02/2008 at 12:16
Now that I'm no longer running FLM but still having a weekend in London (due to prepaid, non-refundable hotel and similar train tickets...) I can help out with support/eye-witnessing. I get to London on the Friday, though, so only good to help from Friday afternoon onwards.
Posted: 20/02/2008 at 13:54
Cheeky git GR!! I might have to pace you round the first 500yards of FLM again!!
They're actually the same price as the Thurs eve flights. More a case of trying to keep Mrs RB as sweet as possible! Bluddy wimmin!! (present company excepted Joolsa).
Posted: 20/02/2008 at 17:16
Jools - that would be fantastic, many thanks for that. Gutted to hear about your FLM deferment - sounds like a sensible decision though. Hope it clears up fast.
Rach - It'd be GREAT to gave you on board. I'll email you some more details.
Posted: 21/02/2008 at 10:40
Fabbo! Would love to do it. Count me in for sure
Posted: 21/02/2008 at 10:43
NtS - 8 March is in the diary.
Rach E - Nice business.
GR - No break longer than 5 1/2 hours okay with you?
Posted: 21/02/2008 at 11:04
RB-Only joking mate,You'll never keep women happy.......got to be a bit careful with what i say now. How do you feel about 30mins stints.Would you still prefer to do 60mins?
Jools- Are you sure you know what you're letting yourself in for.....you have'nt met Crab yet! Seriously though it would be great to have your support.....but no Shouting I know what you ex-cox's are like.
Rach- Fantastic to have you on board,but you must promise not to bring that Gobi.......my ears are still bleeding from Wokingham;o))
Orinocho-Yes thats fine with me but I'm prepared to go with the majority decision.
Nick- You're doing a grand job captain.If there is anything i can help with just drop me an e-mail
Still doing a bit
Posted: 21/02/2008 at 11:52
Where are we doing this practice on March 8? I am in London, but it's my (shock, horror) 30th birthday celebrations on that day. I'm planning on doing Bushy TT as my birthday treat and already have lunch lined up in Covent Garden (which all the team would be welcome to!).
If you'd like a treadmill to practice on, then I could get us all into my gym (a *huge* Virgin Active, formerly Holmes Place, on the Strand). I'm my company's corporate rep so they don't mind me bringing in extra guests - particularly if I tell them what it's for on this occasion )
Posted: 21/02/2008 at 12:47
See more comments...
March the 8th is in the diary! Could possibly arrange to use the mills at the gym but these are in Surrey so i don't know how this would suit everyone?
welcome rachE good to have you with us!!!
Nts-as for using the gym i can ask boss man on monday when he is back in and get back to you. Also matey did you manage to get me a FLM place? You are doing a sterling job el capitaino! If theres anything you need a hand with just ask matey!
As far as the shifts work i will go with the majority, although the earlier you can give me an idea the quicker i can plan my training regime lol!
Posted: 23/02/2008 at 00:45
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