The 50K treadmill world record is broken for the third time (!) in 2020

Photo credit: Screenshot
Photo credit: Screenshot

From Runner's World

  • Swiss orienteer Matthias Kyburz broke the 50K treadmill record, taking 50 seconds off the previous record.

  • In addition to running for the record, Kyburz also raised money to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in Switzerland.

  • This is the third time in 2020 the record has been broken.

Feel like you’ve read a lot about the 50k treadmill world record on our site in the past few months? Well, you’re not going crazy—the record has been broken three times in just over three months.

On April 16, Swiss orienteer Matthias Kyburz ran 50 kilometres on a treadmill in 2:56:35, taking 50 seconds off the record set in February by German Florian Neuschwander. Before Neuschwander, American Mario Mendoza ran 2:59:03 in January to break the previous record of 2:59:49, set by ultrarunner Michael Wardian.

Kyburz wasn’t planning to attempt the record this year. However, when his planned races were canceled or postponed, like many races around the world, because of the coronavirus pandemic, he decided to not let his winter training go to waste.

Right from the start, Kyburz’s treadmill effort looked smooth. But he started slower than record pace on the first half, meaning the Swiss athlete needed a negative split on the second half. Kyburz mentioned struggling at the 30K and 45K marks, and also getting dizzy around 38K. He wasn’t sure he was going to continue after that, but when it passed at 40K, he powered through the pain in his legs and captured the record, averaging a 5:40-per-mile pace.

“It’s nice really nice to have realised it at the end without any big issues,” Kyburz said on the Facebook live stream after his run. “It’s nice to do a project like this. To do it in such difficult times to feel this joy now. It’s amazing for me.”

Within a minute of finishing, Kyburz was celebrating with his wife, who was one of a few people with him for his run because of social-distancing guidelines. He popped champagne and blasted confetti before announcing his plans for relaxing.

“Recovery is easy because I will go home because you should stay home, so I’m going there and laying on my sofa and eating a hell of a lot of chocolate,” he said. “I think this is what I’m going to do the next two weeks.”

In addition to running for the record, Kyburz was also raising money to fight the coronavirus pandemic in Switzerland. Before and during the run, he raised over £5000. Anyone wishing to donate can do so here.

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