Altra Running sponsored athlete Jacob Puzey broke the world record for the fastest 50-mile run on a treadmill during The Running Event Conference and Trade Show over the weekend of November 28, 2016.
Averaging a speedy 5:56 per mile pace throughout the run for a total time of 4:57:45 and a split time of 2:38, Puzey performed for an undulating crowd on a ProForm Boston Marathon Treadmill. He took only one short bathroom break over the nearly five hour time period, and fueled himself on quick energy resources like soda, electrolyte drinks, and potato chips.
With an ultrarunning career honed in races like the North Face Endurance Challenge and the Mount Hood 50 Miler, Puzey was able to beat the previous “treadmill 50” record of 5:57:31, set by Italian Vito Intini, by a full hour. Fans and family members including his wife and infant daughter cheered him on from the tradeshow floor.
Other monumental treadmill records include a 100 mile run in 14:15:08 by Hungarian Edit Berces; 151.8 miles in 24 hours by Canadian David Proctor; and 660.46 miles over 7 days by Italian Antonio Scaldavilla. Treadmill running differs greatly from pounding the pavement or the trail as they tend to be easier on the legs and joints, due to their bouncier and more buoyant surfaces. They also give runners the opportunity to run without distractions or terrain surprises. They are ideal for shoulder season and foul weather training.
Puzey lives and trains (both indoors and out) in Calgary, Alberta, while also working as an athletic coach. After setting the new record, Puzey shared his story of injury, recovery, and appreciation with his social media followers.
“When it felt comfortable to run below world record pace even though I knew it could come back to bite me toward the end I went for it. When it seemed like running the pace Jim Wamsley ran at JFK was manageable I went with it. When it felt right running sub 6:00 even when I hadn’t done much running at that pace since the Calgary Marathon in May I went with it again. I tried to run without limits,” he said.
“Over a decade ago I shattered my navicular bone and was told I could never run again,” Puzey said. “My college teammate, Golden Harper, helped me transition back into running. Today I thought of Altra founders, Golden, Brian, and Jeremy, and the risks they took and the impact they have had on me personally and on the shoe industry. If it had not been for them I may not be running today.”
“I didn’t think of all of the running I hadn’t done to prepare, but rather focused on the treat it is to run with my wife and kids most days,” Puzey told the media. While I don’t have a set running schedule other than the erratic sleep schedule of our premature baby these days, I’m always grateful to have a good treadmill to train on when the weather and work don’t permit me to run outside.”
“I’m grateful for family, friends, fans, former students and athletes who encourage me to chase my dreams…I’m grateful today went as well as it did, but even if it hadn’t I’d still feel like the luckiest man alive,” he said.
Immediately following his run, Puzey said that he actually didn’t have his heart set on breaking the record: “I just wanted to see if I could run the previous record’s pace. I happened to feel really good and going at a 5:56 pace felt great. I put one foot in front of the other and just kept going.”