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
Rachael Elliott - Rach E
Kelvin Dickinson - Njord
Lee Kemp - Kempez
Paul Adams - Padams
| 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.