Eric Domingo Roldan breaks Guinness World Record for fastest marathon pushing a wheelchair

·3-min read
Photo credit: Eric Domingo Roldan
Photo credit: Eric Domingo Roldan

For most of us, running 26.2 miles is enough of a challenge. Once you hit mile 20, simply putting one foot in front of another is hard enough.

Spanish athlete Eric Domingo Roldan is a man who did not think running a marathon was enough of a challenge. Instead, on 8 November 2021, he attempted to push his mum in her wheelchair around the entire length of the Barcelona Marathon.

To make things even harder, simply completing the race was not enough for Roldan. He wanted to break the world record for ‘fastest marathon pushing a wheelchair’, which stood at 2:58:40.

Sitting in the wheelchair would be his mum, Silvia. Silvia suffers from multiple sclerosis, and was also struck down with Covid recently, so Eric decided to take on this challenge in order to raise money for a multiple sclerosis charity (you can donate here).

Eric told Runner’s World that the reason that he decide to go for this record was to raise awareness of the condition. 'I thought it would be a good challenge for both me and my mum, because she’s been facing challenges since she was a child, and I thought she would love it.'

Photo credit: Eric Domingo Roldan
Photo credit: Eric Domingo Roldan

In a video on Eric’s social media pages, Silvia has said how much she loves running with her son: 'It fills me with life, and gives me peace being able to see the landscapes. And above all, it gives me an incredible freedom.'

It wasn’t the first time Eric and Silvia had attempted the record – last year in Seville they ran it together in 3:00:30, a painfully close 1 minute 21 seconds off the record.

The conditions were favourable on the day of this year’s race, Eric was in his home city and so he went off hard. He hit halfway in 1:26, well on track for the record if he kept that pace. 'I was feeling happy from the first kilometre until the last, as my mum never stops cheering and supporting other runners, and that's the best part of running together,' he says. 'Of course, there were points where I felt emotional, when I remembered difficult times like when mum had Covid in August. But the crowd showed us so much love and support.'

Eric says that Silvia was as nervous as all the other runners in the days before the race. 'But when we started, Mum was the happiest person in the world, smiling, laughing and cheering,' he says. 'Amazingly, she was surprised when we arrived at 38km because she thought we were at 28km. It all happened so fast.'

They eventually crossed the finish line in 2:53:28, setting a new world record and making his mum very happy in the process. 'It was a dream come true,' says Eric. 'I was constantly looking at my watch to check if we were on time, and the last 195m were the best seconds of my life. When we crossed the line I just wanted to hug Mum and tell her that we did it, for her and for multiple sclerosis. To cross that line meant that we did what we promised after going through the hardest time of our lives.'

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